Western Bank Library wins again!

Congratulations to Avanti Architects, Admiral Construction, Turner & Townsend and the University of Sheffield for the refurbishment of Western Bank Library, which has just won the RICS Pro Yorkshire Award for the best Building Conversion in the region.

At the Sheffield Design Awards 2010 the project won best Renovation and Avanti Director John Allan, a former student of the University of Sheffield, collected the award from Tom Bloxham MBE.

Pevsner believed that the Library, which was built between 1955-9, ‘deserves the prize for the best individual twentieth century building in Sheffield.’

The slideshow on Avanti’s website illustrates the successful renovation whilst the image below shows how the library looked prior to the work being commissioned.

Forgotten Spaces 2011 Competition

RIBA Yorkshire’s Forgotten Spaces 2011 is a design competition that seeks to encourage new ideas for underused land and spaces in Sheffield.

Open to entrants across the country, the competition invites architects, artists, engineers and landscape designers to nominate a site in the Sheffield area and propose an idea for its improvement.

A ‘forgotten space’ could be small or large – a grassy verge, a wasteland, an unused car park, a derelict building, underpass or flyover. The proposal could be simple or complex, a commercial or public facility, a piece of public art or a new building, the main requirement is that it responds to the area and serves a function for the local community.

Three prizes (1st Prize – £5,000, 2nd Prize – £2,000 and £1,000) and up to five commendations will be awarded to the best schemes and a shortlist of up to 25 of the best proposals will be exhibited in a public exhibition at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield between 12 September and 8 October 2011.

 Entries to the competition closed on Thursday 12 May 2011.

The Douglas Knoop Centre (2006)

Home of Sheffield University’s Humanities Research Institute (HRI), the Douglas Knoop Centre is a contemporary extension to a grade II listed pavilion building which originates from the 1830s.  Many will remember the building on Gell Street, next to the Henderson’s Relish Factory, being used as accommodation for doctors working on call at the nearby Jessop Hospital.

Douglas Knoop Centre


In 2006, the Bond Bryan Partnership helped the University secure permission to refurbish the pavilion and deliver the Douglas Knoop extension – a striking single-storey building with an innovative landscaped green-roof, the first of its kind in Sheffield.  The roof garden now provides an attractive amenity space for conference delegates and visitors to the HRI.

Green Roof Garden with Soundhouse

Sheffield’s Best Buildings Revealed

It’s official; Sheffield’s favourite new building is Leopold Square as voted for by people living and working in the city, as part of the Sheffield Design Awards 2010.

Leopold Square, designed by Axis Architecture, was announced the winner of the People’s Award at the Sheffield Design Awards ceremony which was held last night at the Showroom Cinema.  The University of Sheffield’s Soundhouse building, designed by Carey Jones Chapmantolcher, was runner up in the Peoples’ Award category.

London-based architects Allies and Morrison’s ‘Cheese Grater’ Charles Street Car Park won the People’s Award at the inaugural Sheffield Design Awards in 2008.

The bi-annual Sheffield Design Awards also invite industry professionals and members of the public to cast their votes for the city’s best buildings in a competition run in partnership by Sheffield Civic Trust and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Yorkshire.

Tom Bloxham MBE of Urban Splash hosted this year’s event and announced the winners as:

Commenting on the awards, Tom Bloxham said: “The consistently high quality of entries to the 2010 Sheffield Design Awards shows that the city continues to push the boundaries of design excellence. These awards celebrate outstanding contemporary architecture in the city and I commend Sheffield Civic Trust and the RIBA for hosting this important event.”

Our Secretary Simon Gedye added: “We had hundreds of votes for the People’s Award which proves yet again how much pride people take in their city. Leopold Square is clearly loved by the many people who used it and I am delighted that Axis Architecture have received recognition for their outstanding work.”

Emma England, head of RIBA Yorkshire, was delighted with the awards ceremony and said: “I’m delighted with the results of this year’s Sheffield Design Awards.  Although entry numbers were down on 2009 the quality of the winning projects is outstanding.  Cemetery Road Apartments have set a new standard for residential development in the city with wonderfully designed internal spaces and a clever response to the site.  Western Bank Library is an interesting project on a national level.  Refurbishment of these modern buildings is a developing field but Avanti have completed this with sensitivity and talent”

The Workshop Studio, Kenwood Park Road – Wins Best Building!

Well done to DRDH Architects for securing another award for the Workshop Studio, this time for the Best Building in the Sheffield Design Awards 2010!

The project also has a RIBA Regional Award 2010 and was commended in the Yorkshire 2009 AR Awards for Emerging Architecture.

Newfield and Talbot School win the Community Design Award!

The Newfield Secondary School and Talbot SEN School by HLM Architects under the Building Schools for the Future initiative was the deserved winner of the Community Design Award in the Sheffield Design Awards 2010.

HLM are currently close to concluding their work on the University of Sheffield’s Arts Tower, which surely will be a strong candidate for Best Renovation in the Sheffield Design Awards 2012.

Sheffield Design Awards 2010

Voting for the Sheffield Design Awards 2010 – Peoples’ Award closed at 5.30pm on 31 January 2011 .

The award, which will confirm Your Best New Building / Renovation in the city since 2005, generated more than 1,500 online votes.  The leading candidates included: the excellent renovation of Leopold Square, the University of Sheffield’s rubber clad, Soundhouse (photo below), the Furnival Building and Jessops West.

The ‘Cheese Grater’ Arundel Gate Car Park won the Citizens’ Award at our Inaugural Sheffield Design Awards in 2008.

Read BBC Radio Sheffield’s article on the Peoples’ Award.

Tom Bloxham MBE of Urban Splash will announce the winners of the Sheffield Design Awards on 16th February 2011 at the Showroom Cinema.  You are all welcome to come along and join us in celebrating the best of developments in Sheffield.

Stirling Prize Dinner October 2011 at Magna

The Royal British Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize Awards Dinner will take place at Magna on Saturday 1 October 2011.   The Magna Centre was the winning Stirling Prize entry in 2001 for architects Wilkinson Eyre.

The Stirling Prize, named after the architect James Stirling, was founded in 1996 and is awarded to ‘the architects of the building which has made the greatest contribution to British architecture in the past year.’  The building must be in the European Union and, consequently, is considered the best European building built or designed in Britain.

Shortlist of Sheffield’s best buildings announced

The search to find the city’s best building is narrowing as the shortlist for Sheffield Design Awards 2010 is announced.

The competition is being run in partnership with Sheffield Civic Trust (SCT) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Yorkshire. Launched in 2008, Sheffield Design Awards are held every two years and are open to any project within the city’s boundary.

Architectural firms and industry professionals entered the competition and a high profile judging panel – which includes Nick Dodds, Chief Executive of Museums Sheffield and Professor Flora Samuel, Head of Sheffield School of Architecture – have agreed a shortlist of eight buildings.

The shortlisted projects are:

  • Sharrow Point – Project Orange
  • The Arthur Willis Environmental Centre, University of Sheffield – Bond Bryan Architects
  • The Crucible Workshops – Elden Minns & Co Ltd
  • Western Bank Library – Avanti Architects
  • Newfield & Talbot School – HLM Architects
  • The Workshop – DRDH Architects
  • The Furnival Building – Bond Bryan Architects

Simon Gedye of Sheffield Civic Trust said: “This is only the second time of we have run the competition and the response from architects in the city has been fantastic. The difficult job of getting so many excellent buildings down to a shortlist of eight has now been done and the next stage is for the judges to visit them to make their final assessments.”

Emma England, head of RIBA Yorkshire, said: “Good building design plays a vital role in the creation of successful cities. We’re delighted to be involved with the awards again this year as I believe they demonstrate the benefits of good architecture and promote the role of architects. Sheffield has some of the best contemporary architecture in the region and this is evident from the quality of projects on the shortlist.”

The winners will be announced on 16th February 2011 at the Showroom Cinema, at an awards ceremony hosted by Tom Bloxham MBE of Urban Splash.

NOTE – The Sheffield Design Awards also cover the People’s Awards giving the people of Sheffield a chance to vote for their favourite building.  Please log on and vote, if you haven’t done so already.