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St Leonard’s Place Retail Unit & Public Conveniences

Architect/ Designer: Mass Architecture
Client/Developer: Healthmatic
Builder: APS Construction Services
Presented by: Janet 0`Neill, 0`Neill Associates

The first is a tiny coffee shop and new public lavatory fitted into a lost space tucked behind the city wall next to Bootham Bar – previously an unlovely public convenience. The layout is very ingenious, with a copper and glass roof that drains rainwater away from the ancient stonework into an internal light-well – at the same time providing through-views into the internal spaces from both inside and outside the city wall – enticing customers into the shop. The construction of this sophisticated building on one of the busiest traffic junctions in York is itself a remarkable achievement. The developer and their designer are to be congratulated for making something almost poetic out of a particularly unpromising site.

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