Production at England’s oldest forge, at Kirkstall to the West of Leeds, finally ceased in 2003. Since this time nature has reclaimed the site, colonising banks and softening structures to create a unique character and patina. It is this quality we strive to retain as a new mixed-use community is integrated and sunk into the dense vegetation. Development will be set into the wooded banks of the River Aire, which cuts through the heart of the site.
This will always be a community on the ‘edge’ – edge of City; edge of River; edge of nature. It is clear the task of ‘knitting’ the site back into its surroundings must extend well beyond the red line boundary. Promotion and ‘infestation’ of the site though temporary uses, guided walks, festivals, and maybe even a BMX race, will be essential to it’s success. In this way the new Kirkstall Forge development will play a vital role within one of the major green fingers that connect Leeds to the countryside.