Sheffield School of Architecture returns to the Arts Tower

The University of Sheffield School of Architecture moved back to its home at the top of the Arts Tower in time for the new academic year, after a full refurbishment by HLM Architects.

The Arts Tower was originally designed by Gollins Melvin and Ward as part of their winning entry for the 1953 competition for the master-plan of Sheffield University’s central development. It was completed in 1965, at which point the school of architecture moved into the top eight floors. It was officially opened in June 1966 by the Queen Mother who called it a “tower of light and learning”. At 78m tall, it is the tallest university building in Britain and was listed as Grade II* in 1993.

The refurbishment began in August 2009. It was deemed necessary due to a failing façade and general tiredness of the building fabric. The entire façade was replaced with double glazed units and insulated spandrels with no discernible difference in appearance. The Arts Tower’s paternoster, which has been retained and upgraded, is the largest of the few still working in Britain. The opportunity was taken to improve the provision for the ever-expanding student numbers with a complete retrofit for the departments of architecture and landscape architecture, who now between them occupy floors 9 to 19. HLM Architects worked with the school’s own Bureau of Design Research (BDR) to improve the layout of the floors more in-keeping with the way the school operates today, eliminating corridors and opening up spaces wherever possible to attain more usable floor area.

Professor Flora Samuel, head of the School, said “We are really pleased to be moving back to the tower which is such an important part of the school’s identity. The investment made by the University shows a real commitment to the school and to the future of architectural education.”

There will be an opening party in the Arts Tower on the afternoon of Saturday 1st October to coincide with the Stirling Prize, which is being held at nearby Magna that evening.

Tom Hudson selected for Dezeen Exhibition

Tom Hudson, who was awarded a distinction for his sixth year thesis project in June this year, has been selected as one of thirty up and coming designers to be included in the Dezeen Platform exhibition. His work will be exhibited in Dezeen’s month-long residency in Shoreditch during London Design Festival, London Fashion Week and Frieze Art Fair.

The exhibition also includes shoes designed by Julian Hakes, who completed his degree at SSoA in 1993.

Doina Petrescu gives invited lecture at the Swedish Architecture Association

Into the Wild – Oyster Seminar 2011 The Oyster Seminar 2011 explores contemporary landscape architecture that brings the elements and structures of the wild back into the urban context. The seminar omits the glossy coffee table design of static and programmed places, and puts the spotlight on people who seek to create spaces open to process-oriented development. From grass root initiatives making spontaneous use of the public realm, to biological systems re-incorporated into the city structure and the influence of natural phenomenon on urban space, the city comes alive through that which grows and evolves.

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Success at the RIBA Yorkshire Student Awards

RIBA Yorkshire Student Award 2011At the RIBA Yorkshire Student Awards which were announced on Friday 1 July 2011, students from the School of Architecture won four prizes:

Joseph Dimery (third year) won the Gold Medal for Part 1 students for his mushroom farm at Chatsworth.

Ronan Watts (sixth year) won the Silver Medal for Part 2 students for his project ‘Bathing the Spectacle’.

Dan Cook (sixth year) won the Gold Medal and the Presentation Prize for Part 2 students for his Performing Arts University at Winchelsea.

Their submissions are all on display at the Furnival Building at Sheffield Hallam University until 11 July 2011. The projects can also be seen as part of the SSoA Summer Exhibition in the Crookesmoor Building until 22 July 2011.