Come back Miyaimi, all is forgiven
With all of the distinctive, big-name builds that have been erected in Leeds in recent years, we're perhaps guilty of taking good architecture for granted. Projects like Victoria Gate, Broadcasting Tower, and the recladding of Park Row's Lloyds building might be divisive, but at least they're faithful to a concept. They're going out there and being themselves. Don't like it? Well look at your shoes and keep on walking pal.
Sometimes though, Leeds City Council - god love 'em - will approve plans for a building so tooth-achingly insipid and lacking in any personality that it makes Park Plaza hotel look like something Frank Gehry dreamt up. This week, that building is this:
State of that. A cacophony of jarring geometry, cheap materials, and a vast expanse of concrete render or cladding in an unappetising shade of mayonnaise. In fact no, I'm not going to drag mayonnaise like that. This is so boring it makes mayonnaise seem like that super hot piri piri that comes in the blacked out bottle.
Also, what is this?
A bleacher where crowds can gather and admire the view of the kebab shop next to The Social? Or, more likely, did the rendering artist fell asleep halfway through generating the staircase?
Despite appearances, this new building isn't destined to be a PPI call centre in Redditch, or halls of residence for Loughborough University in 1997, but a new bar, restaurant, and penthouse in Leeds city centre.
You may have used other, more interesting landmarks in the image to pinpoint it to 22-30 Merrion Street, where the current premises has been unused since Mayaimi went MIA a few years back. Admittedly it could do with a bit of work, but is this really the answer?
The new building will be used for multiple purposes: two storeys of office space will be sandwiched between a 3,358sq ft ground floor bar and restaurant space and a 2,830sq ft penthouse bar and roof terrace.
"The dynamic ground floor restaurant and bar will add to the area's day and night leisure attractions." says Mahmood Mazhar, the owner of Call Lane's Norman Bar who is in charge of the new development. "The sky bar and terrace will provide quality dining with stunning views over Leeds"
And he's got a point, it could well be the best view in the city, being the only place where you're guaranteed not to catch a glimpse of this monstrosity:
Construction is expected to go underway in the next 4-6 months.