projects /

White Rose View, Leeds




Unite Students/RG Group


RIO Architects


September 2020

Project Summary & Objective

White Rose View is in the Arena Quarter of Leeds city centre and will provide 976 student beds in a mix of cluster and studio flats. The scheme, due for completion in summer 2020, consists of two new high-rise towers of 17 and 27 storeys. The development also includes commercial space and a 90-space basement car park for the neighbouring office block.

Key Challenges

An existing basement car park structure was to be retained and re-used as part of the proposed development. However, site investigations revealed rock at a shallow depth, highlighting a ‘very weak layer’ of material below. Borehole information was limited as it was outside the proposed footprint of the building and it wasn’t possible to fit a borehole rig into the basement car park.

The challenge was to construct a tall, heavy concrete building using a shallow foundation solution.

Extensive temporary works were carried out during the build, including those required to prop the existing highway retaining walls prior to removal of the ground floor slab acting as a prop.


A specialist was commissioned to carry out a series of Advanced Continuous Surface Wave tests from within the in-use basement car park which allowed us to obtain a detailed ground stiffness profile over the entire area of the basement without requiring a borehole. Following a settlement analysis of the ground we were confident that a shallow foundation could be adopted saving the contractor money and reducing risks associated with piling in rock strata.