Animal tower block wins Wildlife Design Competition

A tower block animal refuge, designed by Leeds-based Garnett Netherwood Architects, has been named as the winning entry in the Wildlife Design Competition, for Holbeck Urban Village in the city.


The competition, backed by Leeds Council and part of a broader regeneration programme, saw 31 entrants compete to create an animal habitat for the Holbeck area.

Neil Oxlee, associate architect at Garnett Netherwood Architects, says he was briefed to ‘bring wildlife back into the urban environment – birds, insects, local kites and an elusive otter’.

The tower is a multi-level design, which aims to attract different species, ‘with anything from rodents at the bottom to birds at the top’, according to Oxlee.

A model of the winning design was unveiled at a ceremony last night. Oxlee is now looking for funding to build the tower.

The tower will be built entirely from reclaimed materials, salvaged from demolition projects in the Holbeck area.    

Judged by Geoff Ward, chairman of RIBA Yorkshire and Pipper Hale, artist curator and director of the Northern Art Prize, other designs in the contest included a bat boat reclaimed-timber cavern by Annalise Riches of Riches Hawley Mikhail Architects and a lantern hive for insects by London-based designers Gregory Cowen, Annick Collins and Natalie Skeete.

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  • kim spickett November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Can I ask who set the brief and how the suitability will be tested?

  • Lauren Nuttall November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Great design. I think this will create a very interesting focal point for the community!

  • tanya telford November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    it sounds very good, i hope they get funding asap as it looks like something all sorts of people might/could enjoy. What about once its built, will they employ caretakers to maintain it? and would it be open in the evening? lighting etc? maybe a canal boat as a cafe with local produce?

  • charity dinha November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    i love that pic the desigh is fantastic and the backgroud

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