Living Wall plants

Leeds University Union Living Wall

A living wall can transform any vertical surface into a creative and stunning visual with the use of lush foliage, colourful flowers or swaying grasses. These impressive pieces have become popular in recent years in new and modern urban spaces, buildings and developments.

During the refurbishment of the Leeds University Union (LUU) – a project aiming to provide state of the art facilities and retain LUU’s status as one of the UK’s biggest and best unions – the idea of installing a living wall seemed only appropriate. The wall provides an attractive piece of living artwork in a location that would have otherwise been wasted space.

In line with the University’s Sustainability Strategy, the purpose of the wall promotes our commitment to sustainability and wellbeing. The ANS Living Wall system uses rain water through an irrigation system to water the six plant species in the feature: syngoniums (white butterfly); asplenium nidus; ahilodendron scandens; asparagus “sprengeri”; scindapsus “trebie”; and maranta leuconeura “kerchoveana”.

Pyramid theatre

New look Theatre

Old bar LUU

New look to University Union unveiled

A significant part of the £16.8m modernisation of the University Union Building is now complete.  View the photos below:

Find out more about the Leeds University Union project.

Projects Map

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LUU reception foyer

Key facilities re-open for autumn term

Leeds University Union and the Edward Boyle Library will partially re-open their doors as students make their return to the University in late September.

Edward Boyle Library Refurbishment

Significant refurbishment work has been underway to transform, modernise and upgrade both facilities.

Phase 3 of the refurbishment programme for the Edward Boyle Library will see the opening of the new Postgraduate Research Hub on Level 13 and 1000 new study spaces. Full completion of the project is on schedule for early 2017.

Partial completion of upgrade work at the Union building will mean that current and new students will be able to kick-start term with full access to the Old Bar and Pyramid (formerly Mine).  All of which have been upgraded as part of the £16.8m investment. Full completion of the project is planned for April 2017.

Find out more about the Edward Boyle Library project

Find out more about the Leeds University Union project

LUU reception foyer

Leeds University Union upgrade underway

Main works to transform the Union Building are now underway

Aidan Grills, Chief Executive of Leeds University Union talks more about the project.

The deal has been done, the plans finalised, the asbestos stripped out and Sir Robert McAlpines’ builders can finally start on site as the main contractor for the Union Upgrade. As Celebrate Week was in full swing at the end of April 2016, final arrangements were being made to the phasing of activity which should see the Union Upgrade project delivered by the end of next April 2017. This is much sooner than expected and part of the proposal submitted by SRM which showed they understand how important it is to our work to consider the year around student activity we need to maintain.

Interior design work has been developed, with significant attention going towards maintaining the key aspects of the Old Bar we all want to retain whilst we upgrade the furniture, kitchen and behind the bar areas.

One of the most exciting aspects to show people is the new Raven Theatre which will really feel like a brand new asset to our venues. Every time I get to tour people through the area through Mine, even those who think they know LUU well, are excited about the potential this offers.

Current Activity Programme

An overview of the key activity expected over the next few months is outlined below:

  • May 2016: SRM starts on site in phased approach to programme of work covering Old Bar, the Riley Smith Hall and Pulse.
  • June 2016: Work begins around the Foyer, Stylus corridor and Mine.
  • August 2016: Work begins on the Raven Theatre, Central Atrium, Common Room, Market Square and further works to the Foyer. Works to Pulse and the new Terrace kitchen will also be completed at this time.
  • September 2016: Completion of Old Bar, Riley Smith Hall, Mine, Terrace Kitchen and first phase of the Foyer.
  • December 2016: Completion of Central Atrium, Common Room, Market Square, further works to the foyer and the Raven Theatre.
  • January – April 2017: Work will be completed around the North Entrance, backlog maintenance and new Studio spaces.

Thank you to so many students and staff who have supported us to get this far along the way to refurbishing our building. The Union Upgrade is well and truly under way and we will see the results in new activity in the next academic year!

Find out more about the Leeds University Union project.

LUU news

Contractor appointed for Leeds University Union investment works

The University has appointed contractors Sir Robert McAlpine to deliver main refurbishment works, due to take place this summer at the University Union.  The work is due to commence on site over the coming weeks with completion expected in early Spring 2017.

We are working hard to ensure disruption to students and other users of the building is kept to a minimum. You can find regular updates about the work taking place, posted within the Union building, on Twitter at LeedsUniUnion and on the disruptions page of this website.

Director of Estates Steve Gilley commented:

“The University Union is the hub of the student life and this refurbishment aims to further improve our students experiences. The building will remain open whilst work is taking place – it’s critical for us to ensure we keep disruption to a minimum and limit the impact on student experience. We are therefore working intensely with LUU colleagues to ensure we deliver the best service to our students during this busy time.”