SSoA graduates feature in Blueprint’s Ones to Watch

Two Sheffield School of Architecture graduates were among the winners who have been selected by Blueprint Magazine as ‘Ones to Watch’.

Samuel Kapasa and Polina Pencheva graduated from the MArch in Architecture in June 2015. Both students worked in Hull and developed ideas around flooding resilience, ageing communities and reuse of existing infrastructure as part of studio Intergenerational Architecture.

“Sheffield School of Architecture has long enjoyed a reputation for engaging with the ‘real’ across pedagogy and research. One graduate studio of the MArch programme embraced the reality of ageing in their final year studio called Intergenerational Architecture, led by Satwinder Samra and Ronan Watts.”

Blueprint magazine enlisted a team of architects, designers and critics to scour the UK to find the “very best of the graduate work on offer this year”.

Emmett Scanlon, part of the team of judges, explains:

“Samuel Kapasa made a scheme of mixed living homes that offers both assisted and independent living scenarios, elegantly planned and visualised in a watery landscape.

Polina Pencheva made a remarkably formally sophisticated scheme to combine a variety of functions and uses at the St Andrew’s Dock Assembly.

Overall the ambition of the studio was laudable, rooted in the real, hoping for the best, reminding us that architecture belongs to all of us, designer and user alike, and architects clearly benefit from remembering that.”

Read about all the graduates selected

Polina Pencheva - St. Andrew’s Dock Assembly

Polina Pencheva – St. Andrew’s Dock Assembly


Samuel Kapasa – The Beautiful Inevitability of Ageing and Flooding


MA in Architectural Design students participate in collaborative design symposium

‘Stay-in or take away? Reflections on Permanence and Temporality in the City’ is a half day symposium in cooperation with the Sheffield School of Architecture, University of Huddersfield and the University of Padua (Italy).

CUDAS Research Centre and the Urban Futures and Design Lab have organised the event for 27 October at the University of Huddersfield.

The symposium will focus on the different tools to explore the meanings of the design ‘context’ in relation to the unstable and temporary conditions that contribute in its contemporary characterization. The speakers’ presentations will move from a broad range of critical perspectives, offering the students causes for reflection and topics to discuss during the conclusive debate, chaired by Prof. Nick Temple.

This research-based symposium is addressed to postgraduate students from the Huddersfield School of Art, Design and Architecture (MArch) and Sheffield School of Architecture (MA in Architectural Design).

Sheffield alumni awarded top architecture prize for Britain’s best new building

Two Sheffield alumni were among the winners of the UK’s most prestigious prize for architecture: the RIBA Stirling Prize. Simon Allford (BA Architecture 1983, Dip Architecture 1984) and Paul Monaghan (BA Architecture 1983) are graduates of the Sheffield School of Architecture, and are currently directors at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) who were recognised for their transformation of Burntwood School.

The award was made during  a televised ceremony at RIBA Headquarters following a unanimous decision from the judges which named the Burntwood School project as a ‘clear winner’ as it demonstrates the full range of the skills that architects can offer to society.

RIBA president Jane Duncan said: “Burntwood School shows us how superb school design can be at the heart of raising our children’s educational enjoyment and achievement.”

The judges added: “Burntwood sets a standard in school design that every child in Britain deserves.”

Schools should be more than just practical, functional buildings, Paul Monaghan, director of AHMM, said. “Good school design makes a difference to the way students value themselves and their education, and we hope that Burntwood winning the RIBA Stirling Prize shows that this is worth investing in.”

Burntwood School was one of the last projects under the Building Schools for the Future Scheme which the government ended in 2010.

Simon Allford and Paul Monaghan are graduates of the Sheffield School of Architecture. They still maintain strong links to the School and University and are a partner practice on the School’s MArch in Architecture: Collaborative Practice route. This innovative new programme blends practice based experience with academic research and learning. In the first year of the course students will overlap a year of studies with their professional experience in a partner practice, which will potentially shorten the time for students to reach qualification.

The RIBA Stirling Prize is the UK’s more prestigious architecture prize. Every year it is presented to the architects of the building that has made the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture in the past year.

VELUX Daylight Academic Forum 2015

The 3rd VELUX Daylight Academic Forum took place on 1 September 2015 in London.

The aim of the Daylight Academic Forum is to provide an opportunity for PhD students to discuss their current research projects with a panel of other fellow PhD students – and supported by a panel of scientific experts. The Forum is held in connection with the biennial VELUX Daylight Symposium.

Here the Sheffield School of Architecture’s Professor Steve Fotios talks about the aims of the forums and why he was involved in setting them up.

Pitsmoor Adventure Playground Live Project supported by local resident

As part of the School’s ‘Live Projects’ programme, our students are currently designing new self-build equipment for Pitsmoor Adventure Playground in Sheffield, using salvaged and donated materials.

Trustees and staff at the playground were delighted to receive a £1000 donation from local resident Mandy Boyce this week, in memory of her father Brian Giblin, who built some of the original equipment on the playground. Mandy’s brother Peter and his wife Glenda Giblin still volunteer at the charity, and were also recognised this week with a civic award for their work, alongside volunteer Diane Johnson, Chair Yanina Koszalinski and trustee Alan Hancock.

Mandy’s donation will ensure the student’s designs can be built. Chair of trustees Yanina said, “Self-build is an important part of the history and ethos of Pitsmoor Adventure Playground and we’re enormously grateful to Mandy for helping to carry on that tradition.”

Mandy said, “I thought about having a plaque on a bench to remember Dad, but donating the money to the playground seemed a more lasting tribute to his memory.”

Student Jess Beresford added, “The Live Project team are really excited to get this self-build project off the ground. We are asking for donations of spare or recycled materials from within the community and local businesses that might be able to drive our design. Please give generously! Your contribution will help the children in and around Pitsmoor to have a better quality of life that is focused on play.”

Photograph: Mandy Boyce, Yanina Koszalinski, Peter Giblin; University of Sheffield students Emanuel, Tom, Briant, Jess; PAP staff Patrick and Fran; PAP trustee Julia; Janet and Tom from Yorkshire Play


Registration Open for Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design One Day Conference

New Professionals for the Built Environment – Addressing the gap in sustainable design skills

The conference will be held on Friday the 13 of November 2015 10:00-16:30 at the Royal Academy of Engineering, 3 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DG.

This event is to bring together representatives from different organisations across the architectural and engineering professions, including outreach bodies, universities, professional institutions and industry, who all contribute to and influence the recruitment, education, development and retention of young built environment professionals. This conference will highlight the shortage of built environment professionals with sustainable design skills and debate how to ​significantly increase their number to substantially reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry.

The day will be chaired by Peter Bonfield, ​OBE FREng, the Chief Executive Officer of the BRE Group of companies.

Please do join them on the day to promote this important issue and contribute to the debate on how we can address this challenge for the future of our built environment.

Please register here to attend.

DWELL ‘Age-friendly Urban Living’ Exhibition

Over the past 12 months, the DWELL project researchers and architects have been working with Sheffield residents to rethink the way that we might design ‘age-friendly’ homes for city centre living in Sheffield.

The DWELL team is now pleased to announce a series of ‘pop-up’ exhibitions that will take place in Sheffield city centre this month. The events are intended to engage the people of Sheffield on the key issues being addressed by the project and will invite them to look at, and comment on the ideas.

Exhibition dates

Friday 16th October: Winter Gardens, Sheffield (In association with Sheffield Urban Design Week)

Friday 23rd October: Moor Market, Sheffield

Visit the exhibition on either of these two dates, from 10am – 4pm

Led by Professor Sarah Wigglesworth, DWELL is a three-year research project which has been funded by the UK Research Councils (EPSRC, ESRC, and AHRC). The project will investigate how the design of houses and neighbourhoods can facilitate mobility and well-being – for current and future generations. A key aspect of the research project is the participation of local people within the design and evaluation processes.

Further informaton on the DWELL Project

DWELL City centre exhibitions flyer_Oct

To divest or not to divest? – that is the question

As part of the School’s commitment to a resilient and political approach to architecture, in an upcoming debate Head of School, Professor Fionn Stephenson, will be one of two speakers proposing that the University removes its investments in fossil fuel companies.

The issues surrounding how we use our research expertise to help develop sustainable energy for the future, as well as our commitment to managing our impact on the environment, are both very important to the University of Sheffield. A growing global divestment movement is calling for organisations and individuals to remove their investments from fossil fuel companies in the fight for a safe climate future, and the University of Sheffield are delighted to have linked up with People and Planet – the largest student network in Britain campaigning to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment – to host a debate about this vital issue.

Two academics and two students from the University will explore the arguments for and against the divestment case, focusing on the following question:

“In the context of the worldwide campaign for divestment from fossil fuels companies, what is the most effective way for the University of Sheffield to contribute to the decarbonisation of the world’s energy supplies?”

Date and time: Wednesday, 14 October 2015 from 18:00 to 20:00

Location: The Diamond Building, University of Sheffield

Professor Richard Jones, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Innovation, will open the event. Professor Marie Kinsey, Joint Head of Department for Journalism Studies will chair the panel of the following speakers:

  • Professor Fionn Stevenson, Head of the School of Architecture
  • Professor Peter Styring, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
  • Ali Aiad, student from the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering
  • Liam Hardy, student from the Department of Physics & Astronomy

The University is keen to open up this conversation and create an opportunity to hear views from all sides about the issues surrounding decarbonisation – so come along to what promises to be a lively discussion and have your say.

Join the debate

You can submit a question for the panel in advance when booking. Questions will be selected in advance; you will be informed if your question is selected and you will ask the panel your question on the night. If you wish to submit a question after registering, please email

Questions will also be taken from the audience on the night.

Tour of The Diamond

There will also be a chance to have a tour of the University’s new building, The Diamond. The tour sets off at 17.00 from the Diamond reception. Please select the ticket type ’17.00 Diamond Tour & Event’ when booking.

Visiting Professor Marc Aurel Schnabel in Sheffield

Marc Aurel Schnabel will be visiting the Sheffield School of Architecture from 6-9 October. Marc is from the School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, where he is an Architect and Professor in Architectural Technology.

He will give a public lecture titled ‘Digital Design Realities and Futures’ on Wednesday 7 October at 5:45pm in Arts Tower 16.03 . He will also participate in a doctoral seminar on Thursday 8 October 10am-12pm in Arts Tower 16.03. During his visit will meet with students and staff throughout the School.

As Programme Director in Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington, Professor Schnabel is leading research and education in the field of Architectural Design and Technology. As Past Presidents of CAADRIA, Industry Advisory Board of Autodesk and buildingSMART HK, he is affiliated with various professional bodies and scientific committees. He taught and worked in Germany, Australia and Hong Kong for over twenty years and is highly recognised for his work in the areas of computational design environments. He has established the Digital Architecture Research Alliance, DARA, and the online social network Urban Digitalics connecting professionals and researchers of innovative digital spatial design.

Sheffield Graduate Internship Opportunity with LiveWorks

We are pleased to announce an exciting paid 6 months internship for a University of Sheffield graduate to help develop the activities and profile of Live Works, the School of Architecture’s city centre public-facing urban room.

This post offers the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of innovative project development for one of the country’s leading Architecture schools. Your work will support students, graduates, researchers and local stakeholders to form new strategic partnerships and take control of the future of their city.

You will assist the Live Works Directors in developing Live Works’ public-facing activities in the city centre and online, and in doing so, ensure the sustained development of Live Works’ local and national profile as the UK’s leading Urban Room.

Closing date: 8 October 2015

Full job description