Built ProjectCommunity

Sheffield Community Media

Year | 2023
Location | Broomhall, Sheffield
Clients | Unity Gym

Transforming Sheffield Live!: A Six-Week Search and Proposal of a New Community Media Hub in the Heart of the Steel City

Sheffield Live! are a volunteer led, community radio and local TV station established in 2003, providing an eclectic range of content to the Sheffield and South Yorkshire community, situated within Sheffield’s the Cultural Industries Quarter. A key goal of Sheffield Live is to encourage diversity and inclusion within the audio-visual industry, a seemingly inaccessible and unreachable field for underrepresented communities. In 2009, the radio and tv station was led to relocate from their home at the Hub in Sheffield’s City Centre to the roof level of the Showroom Cinema, losing the vital street connection they once had. As a result, their physical space does not represent the ambitious and influential work they undertake and their connection to the public has been fractured.

“Transparency is key, at our previous location the public could walk past and see our radio shows but in our current location we have lost the connection to the street.”

Steve Buckley – The Director of Sheffield Live!

Alongside redesigning the existing building to facilitate co-working and improve the comfort of the space, the project embarked on a search for a new home for Sheffield Live!, seeking potential properties within Sheffield’s City Centre that could act as a much needed media hub. In order to bridge the gap between the short and long term facets of the project, the Live Project Team also designed and built a pop-up structure an immediate remedy to address the loss of street presence. This will act as a way to reach more members of the community, by bringing the mobile radio station to them, as well as allowing Sheffield Live to host more street and festival events. The scheme aimed to interrogate the notion of community media infrastructure, exploring how this can be provided to the city of Sheffield through architectural interventions in the form of a community media hub and the portable structure. The conceptual design promotes transparency and community ownership, identifying key spaces and qualities that can be applied to an array of properties in Sheffield.

“Walking through a media hub should be like walking through a community”

Rob Cotterell – The Chair of SADACCA

Within the six-weeks, the Live Project group hosted two events to engage with key stakeholders who are associated with and host radio and TV shows through Sheffield Live!, these included representatives from media organisations such as SADACCA, African Voices Platform, South Yorkshire Filmmakers Network, and more. Discussions from these focus groups were then factored into the design, to ensure Sheffield Live’s community led approach was maintained.


Mentor: Emre Akbil
Client: Sheffield Community Media Limited
Location: Steel City, Sheffield
Students: Jade Tickle, Cameron Clark, Will Marchant, Maura McGrath, Zarin Tasneem Mir, Marcus, Harding, Ten Liang Ho, Lucia Mugena, Sofia Sergiou, Sicheng Chen, Yili Chen, Ruyan Zhang