A home close to nature, close to the city and with all the amenities close to hand.

Kirkstall Forge
Kirkstall Forge Masterplan

Set within the stunning natural landscape of the Kirkstall Valley along the banks of the River Aire, Kirkstall Forges is a contemporary urban village creating spaces for a new generation to live, work, and explore.
The first forge was founded by the monks of the adjacent Kirkstall Abbey in the 13th century, and it remained active for over 700 years.
Designed for 1050 houses and apartments, 28,000m2 of commercial space, 9,300m2 of retail and leisure, and a primary school, it draws inspiration from the model town and industrial world heritage site of Saltaire, further up the valley.
The housing layout follows the linearity of the site, defined by the river, railway and topography, while the sloping streets that run perpendicular give views up to the wooded horizon. A central public space ‘stitches’ across the two sides of the river, ending at the new Railway Station, and opens the heart of the site to its landscaped surrounds.

Key Information

Sector: Masterplanning & Urban Design

Client: CEG

Location: Leeds

Completion: 2010

Size: 23 Hectares

A great place to live, a great place to work.

Kirkstall Forge promotes a healthy lifestyle, fostering a sense of community among residents and workers. The masterplan integrates the natural environment with the new town, preserving the woodland areas for recreational use and incorporating gyms, playgrounds, and open meadows.
Strategically positioned within proximity to Leeds City Centre and Bradford, Kirkstall Forge enjoys easy connections via the new onsite railway station. Next to the station lies The Commercial Hub, offering convenient access to office buildings and capitalizing on the ease of commuting.

Kirkstall Forge is designed to bring to life a connected community for business, residents and visitors. FCBStudios has captured that with an inspiring design that maximises the green space and waterfront opportunity.

Nick Lee, Development Director, CEG

Shaping sustainable movement

The masterplan prioritises sustainable transportation options to reduce car dependency, with slow streets promoting cycling and walking. The opening of the Kirkstall Forge station in 2016 provided enhanced access to the Leeds/Liverpool Canal towpath, further encouraging active lifestyles and the use of public transport.
Discreet parking has been provided with underground and under-croft parking available for commercial and residential buildings. Limited on-street parking is allocated for visitors, aimed at discouraging car usage for short journeys.

Design Guide

In 2015, FCBStudios collaborated closely with Leeds City Council planning department to formulate the Kirkstall Forge Design Guide. This comprehensive document, developed over several years through productive collaboration, outlines the vision for Kirkstall and provides a structured framework guiding future development.
The Design Guide delineates the masterplan's structure and encompasses rules, guidance, materials, and parameters. It establishes parameters for each of the thirteen neighbourhoods, covering aspects such as general arrangement, footprint, massing, landscape, and built form principles.

Kirsktall Forge Housing

First Phase housing

In 2015, we spearheaded the development of the inaugural phase of housing at Kirkstall Forge.
This initial phase marks the genesis of the urban village, comprising 135 new homes and 2145m² of retail and dining establishments surrounding a central public square opposite the new bridge and train station. Terraced houses to the north of the river follow the valley's contours, while a second row lines the riverside below. Drawing inspiration from Yorkshire's terraced streets, the design incorporates openings that offer vistas of the surrounding hillside and river.


Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Landscape Architect
Planit IE
Project Manager
Pierre Angulaire
Buro Happold

FCBStudios Team Leads


Leeds Architecture Awards: Public Realm and Landscape Design
Yorkshire Property Awards: Gamechanger Award
North of England Transport Awards - Economic Productivity Project of the Year
AR MIPIM Future Project: Regeneration and Masterplanning, commended
World Architecture Festival - Future Masterplanning category, Highly Commended
Placemaking Awards: Best mixed use project