A rusty-looking tower block in Leeds has been voted the best tall building in the world.

The Bank of America Tower, the Pinnacle @ Duxton and the Burj Khalifa were also shortlisted
The Bank of America Tower, the Pinnacle @ Duxton and the Burj Khalifa were also shortlisted

Broadcasting Place houses Leeds Metropolitan University’s Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology.

The building is made from weathering steel, which forms a rust-like appearance when exposed to weather.

It beat off Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, at a ceremony organised by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

Broadcasting Place, on Woodhouse Lane, was shortlisted for the award after being voted Europe’s best tall building by the CTBUH in June.

The building, which also contains student flats, was praised for its unusual angular shapes and for showing “a respect for the scale and grain of the surrounding listed buildings”.

‘David and Goliath’

Julian Gitsham, from architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, said: “We are delighted, we’re a bit stunned really.

“We were very pleased with the Europe award and then we thought ‘well we’re going to be up against the Burj, the tallest building in the world’.

“It felt like a David and Goliath situation where we had this relatively small building next to this 1km-high building.”

Mr Gitsham said Broadcasting Place was “a humble building” and much smaller than the Burj Khalifa, but it was very “economical” and “environmental” and had had a “huge impact” on Leeds and the university.

The university said the building, owned by student accommodation developer Downing, had been given both praise and criticism for its use of weathering steel as a cladding material.

Mr Gitsham said: “We always wanted to take a really bold decision. We think it’s fantastic when it gets a strong reaction.

“We love the material. It lasts well, it weathers well, it’s got a beautiful tactile nature to it, but you either love it or hate it.”