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Howard Assembly Room


Location Client Cost Completion
Leeds, UK Leeds Grand Theatre & Leeds City Council 16m 2009

Project details

The contemporary transformation of a Victorian gem in Leeds.

The Assembly Room, part of the Opera North Centre is the second phase and culmination of a £32m campaign, which started in 2005 with the renovation of Leeds Grand Theatre.
It reveals the former assembly room painstakingly restored to its original Victorian splendour, with a barrel vaulted ceiling, arched windows and gothic motif decoration.
It provides a 350-seat flexible performance space which is home to the orchestra of Opera North and an exciting new venue in Leeds showing an eclectic programme.

Phase 2 also comprises The Emerald Grand Hall and a new glass link bridge spanning Harrison Street and linking the opera centre to the theatre.

See also: Leeds Grand Theatre

The challenge of bringing the contemporary and classical together in harmony has paid off in the restoration of the Howard Assembly Room.

Richard Ashton General Manager Howard Assembly Room


  • restoration and modernisation sympathetic to the remaining features of the Grade II* listed building
  • a space to showcase the best of contemporary work including film, music, spoken word and theatre


  • the successful fusion of contemporary and classical styles
  • extensive renovation which has combined the distinctive features of the original design with new elements to create a very modern space for live performances and an eclectic gathering of people

Integrated services

architecture, structural engineering, environmental engineering, acoustics