SSoA Graduates announced amongst winners of GAGA Awards 2014

The winners have been announced for the Architectural Review’s Global Architecture Graduate Awards and SSoA graduates Neil Michels and Edward Crooks have been named amongst the winners. Their projects feature in the recently released special edition of the Architectural Review’s Academic Annual 2014


Neil graduated from the MArch Architecture in June 2014. His project A Civic School has been awarded the postgraduate runner up. His vibrant city rooms in the heart of Sheffield allow interaction between the community and the school.

Judge Deborah Saunt comments: “This project ably demonstrates that ‘real life’ constraints need not fetter the ambitions of the aspiring architect, but instead can feed creativity and promote agency as a key tool for the designer”

Global Architecture Graduate Awards – Neil Michels


Edward graduated in 2013 with a first class degree in Architecture and was also the (joint) recipient of our Stephen Welsh Prize in Architecture that year. His project ‘The Theatre of Progress’ has been shortlisted in the undergraduate category. The Theatre of Progress proposes audience-participatory theatre as a means to revive Chatsworth House from its current stagnant condition to one of a wider societal influence.

Judge Deborah Saunt comments: “To encounter the issue of representation in architecture head on, and to do so with such verve and humour, made this project both challenging and enjoyable. It is graphically delightful and mimics the exuberant culture that is so commonly lost in the translation of past culture, bringing it up to date with new audiences.”

Edward explains “I am delighted to be shortlisted for the Architectural Review GAGA awards alongside a host of other brilliant projects. The project has afforded me many wonderful opportunities since graduating, so to have it recognised by a wider audience is an honour for me.

I am grateful for my time studying at Sheffield, and I think the success of SSoA projects in this year’s awards is a testament to the exceptional quality of teaching and work at the school.”

Following graduation Ed worked at Hawkins\Brown in London for a year, and more recently he has been spending time living, exploring and contributing to the architectural community in Chicago and Los Angeles.

Global Architecture Graduate Awards – Edward Crooks

REF 2014 Results: SSoA Ranked 4th in the UK

SSoA’s excellence in research has been recognised in the results of the REF 2014.

We are proud to have achieved 4th place overall by subject, in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

In a joint submission with our colleagues in the Department of Landscape and the Department of Town and Regional Planning in the subject area of Architecture, Built environment and Planning we scored 3.32 which was just 0.03 behind Cambridge.

48% of our research was assessed as 4*, representing world-leading quality and outstanding impacts, and 37% was rated 3* (Internationally excellent).

As a School we have consistently been rated in the top 5 for research in the UK.

Professor Fionn Stevenson, Head of School said:

“We can be very proud of what we have achieved as a School in this REF. These results reflect our reputation for world leading research and our commitment to research-led teaching.”

The University of Sheffield came in the top 10% of all UK universities, 86% of the research submitted by our academic staff being judged as world-leading or internationally excellent.


Further information about our REF 2014 results

More information about SSoA’s research

Doina Petrescu’s research exhibited at Museum of Modern Art, New York

Doina Petrescu’s work with her practice atelier d’architecture autogeree (AAA) is being exhibited at MOMA from 22 November 2014 – 10 May 2015 in the exhibition Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities.

This exhibition brings together six interdisciplinary teams of researchers and practitioners to examine new architectural possibilities for six global metropolises: Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, New York and Rio de Janeiro. Exhibition curator Pedro Gandaho paired the teams with a local practice in the chosen city.

The teams had to consider how emergent forms of tactical urbanism can respond to alterations in the nature of public space, housing, mobility, spatial justice, environmental conditions, and other major issues in near-future urban contexts.

AAA worked together with the Turkish team Superpool on Istanbul, proposing tactics for post-urban development for the unsustainable TOKI mass housing complexes in Istanbul. The emerging middle class population living in these complexes consumerist lifestyles are often unsustainable in the context of the current environmental and social crisis.

“We imagine these complexes to be animated by an open-source, citizen-driven r-urban regeneration – KITO. The KITO agency works with different scales and levels of resilient action, conducting the coproduction of a number of retrofitted spaces, equipment, services and institutions.”

Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities


SSoA graduate completes project at Shanghai Electronic Industry School

SSoA graduate Feng Lu has recently completed a project with his practice, WuYang Architecture, in which they designed a new shower and changing facility at Shanghai Electronic Industry School. The textured front is formed by hollow concrete blocks which is designed to create an interesting interface between building and site.

As project architect, Feng Lu designed the bathrooms to occupy one of the former factory buildings on campus dating back to the 1980s.

He explains “It is a very difficult project. The challenge of this project is twofold: how to transfer a group of factory buildings to a school campus with a very low budget, and how to create an environment as not only a friendly and attractive campus but also a memory of the previous history of the place. As can be seen, more or less, we believe the project achieved the target finally.

It is actually the first built project of my design studio. After I left Sheffield in 2008, I came back to Shanghai to begin my new life. I opened my design studio, WuYang Architecture, in 2010. Besides practice, I also teach in Nanjing University as guest tutor, for their design studio of Master students; and, write papers for magazines as well. In 2013, my book Invisible Frame was published, as a collection of papers published before in different magazines.

Anyway, the period studying in Sheffield is quite important for me.”

Feng Lu was one of the first students to graduate from our PhD by Design programme in 2008.

His recent project features in Dezeen and Archdaily.

Student Bathroom by Wuyang Architecture to Sheffield

Photography by SU Shengliang.

Autumn Statement – what the experts say

Experts at the University of Sheffield give their views as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his Autumn Statement.

Professor Fionn Stevenson, Head of the Sheffield School of Architecture, brings her expertise to UK housing.

“The current housing crisis in the UK shows no sign of abating, with house prices remaining unaffordable for many first time buyers, despite various government initiatives. In some places, mortgages of up to seven times the size of a first time buyer’s salary are required.”

Click here to view the full guide.

Fionn is part of SSoA’s Home Research Group and her areas of expertise include Housing Performance Evaluation, Sustainable Housing Design, Custom Build policy and issues. Fionn is advisor to Innovate UK and Board Member of Good Homes Alliance

Sheffield-made models in German exhibition

In 2002 a major exhibition of the work of the German Modernist Hugo Häring was held at the RIBA and subsequently at two other venues. It was curated by Professor Peter Blundell Jones and Nasser Golzari and included several large models constructed by Sheffield students.

We retained the models until last year in the hope of presenting them again, but due to storage space we decided to offer them to the Hugo Häring society in Biberach, Southern Germany, Häring’s birthplace. The society has now put them on show in Biberach town hall, along with some of our original exhibition panels.

Garkau_01 Ausstellung_02