Sheffield Central

Year | 2018
Location | Sheffield

Clients |  Museums Sheffield

Sheffield Central is a new home for Libraries Sheffield and our client – Museums Sheffield, drawing on their similarities and encouraging them to operate symbiotically. It is a vision re-framing Sheffield Central Library and the Graves Art Gallery in a place for the people of Sheffield to call their own. It brings the building’s wealth of untapped resources out of its Grade II listed walls and into the city, creating a new cultural and civic destination for Sheffield. It brings the services of knowledge and art that the building was originally dedicated to into the 21st century.

The 1930s construction is currently in a state of disrepair and in need of a serious overhaul with structural issues, poor access, wasted spaces and a gallery on the top floor that many people are unaware of. The project is architecturally oriented around a narrative maximising the potential of the building with a series of major design moves including its dissection using a new street, bridging across a new atrium and extending upwards and outward towards Arundel Gate.

These design moves are manifest using three strategies:

  • Accessibility: Altering the way users enter and travel through the building, highlighting the delivery of knowledge and creativity. The new street through the building creates a new public space for the city; Sheffield Central can be a place for everyone
  • Flexibility: Ensuring the building has spaces designed for multiple uses, the building can host a range of activities 24 hours a day, at any time of year. The circulation rehaul maximises the flexibility and adaptability of Sheffield Central.
  • Connectivity: Activities are moved to window height to connect with context both physically and visually. Activating the primary routes to the building with artwork, Sheffield Central becomes the heart of a new Arts Quarter in tandem with neighbouring Leader House and Millennium Gallery. The proposal utilises the building’s location to connect it to the city, using art as the catalyst.
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