The back-to-back terraced houses in Leeds form the largest collection of this housing type in the UK. Despite their original popularity as a housing type, the back-to-back houses and the communities who now live in them are considered to be problematic by some, and in areas such as Harehills, where communities are among the most socially deprived in the country, the building form has been stigmatised as a consequence. While it is acknowledged that the housing itself does present some difficulties in relation to building regulations and modern living requirements, there are examples elsewhere in Leeds, where the housing and community have adapted to provide more successful, and economically sustainable places that retain their heritage significance.
The aim of this research project is firstly to determine the heritage significance of the back-to-back houses in Harehills, by analysing and interpreting their architectural character, use, and value to their communities, and then to consider the factors that will inform their future in Leeds, culminating in design proposals that ensure an appropriate balance is achieved between heritage conservation and 21st century living.
My MA research, Heritage at risk: Victorian back-to-back houses in 21st century Leeds, preliminarily explored the housing type, focusing on the Harehills Triangle area. It began by considering the origin, development and decline of back-to-back house building in Leeds, in the context of local and national legislation and the building process, and the effect these had on the form, character and status of back-to-back houses and communities. A basic architectural analysis of back-to-backs identified the physical characteristics of the housing stock and its current condition, and is presented as a comprehensive set of characterisation maps and a gazetteer of house designs and features. Research with built environment professionals, and of the English heritage protection system, provided an introductory investigation of the heritage and other values associated with the back-to-back housing type, and the impact the lack of heritage protection has had on the character of the houses and neighbourhood. The research concluded that the back-to-back houses in the Harehills Triangle do have significant heritage values, but that the lack of a heritage protection policy has diminished these, putting them at risk.
Supervisor: Dr. Gill Chitty
Funding: WRoCAH Studentship / AHRC
I am an ARB registered, and RIBA Chartered Architect. I have over ten years’ experience of working in architectural practice and this has enabled me to participate fully in the processes from initial client contact, through brief making, design, statutory approvals, production of tender documentation, and contract administration. I have undertaken projects in a variety of sectors, including education, civic, commercial offices, residential, retail and industrial, both new build and refurbishment. My architectural research interests are in the conservation of historic buildings and sustainable design, with a particular focus on terraced housing and engaging local communities in conservation–led regeneration.
University of York, 2013-
University of Lincoln, 1996-2004