Sign up to our Newsletter. Subscribe to access your free Build Cost Calculator to help start your project journey. Subscribe now

Our Favourites x Sheffield Modern

Later this month, Sheffield Modern, the arts festival inspired by the city’s architecture, returns for the second year.

The weekender aims to get people thinking about the shape of the city in new ways – through exhibitions, talks, walks, family-focused workshops, installations, and film screenings. Inspired by the festival, the team have taken a closer look at our city’s architecture.

We’re delighted to be joined by Claire Thornley, Editor of Our Favourite Places and the brains behind Sheffield Modern as our guest contributor!

Image: Our Favourite Places

My favourite building in the whole of Sheffield. Concrete, brutal, uncompromising – its the building I think of when thinking about Sheffield, and its the place I most look forward to seeing when I’ve been away, especially at night when it’s lit up with 100,000 red, yellow and blue LEDs.That it’s designed by a Sheffield practice makes me like it that little bit more too. Jefferson Sheard – the same practice behind the Roxy Disco (another favourite) – designed the substation in 1968 and despite being Grade II listed in 2013 it continues to split opinion. Some people look bemused when I say it’s my favourite building, but others definitely get it. To me, it signifies home. [Claire Thornley]

Image: Google maps

City Parkway, 1960s

My wife used to work opposite this office building out on the Parkway and I was always fascinated by it if I went to pick her up. I love how unashamedly dominant it is with its raised position, battered walls, strong symmetry and vertical fins.  Clearly whoever commissioned it was looking to make their mark on the world! Sadly, I never saw it let and it was demolished in 2013 to be replaced with a very run of the mill car dealership. If anyone can tell me more about this building I love to hear! [Alan]

Image: John Lewis

John Lewis, 1963

Who doesn’t love John Lewis? A Sheffield landmark and place of lunchtime comfort and happiness. [Jess]

Image: Sheffield Theatres

The Crucible, 1971

Did you know Sheffield has the biggest theatre group outside of London? The Crucible is a Sheffield landmark. It might not be the most beautiful building in the world, but as Jess put it, the building has “principles of ugliness” which I like. [Fera]

Image: Haarkon

The David Mellor House – Patrick Guest, 1960

Designed by Patrick Guest for his friend David Mellor, Sheffield metalware designer and manufacturer. I love how it looks in the photos like the garden is trying to get into the house – I think this would be a calm and contemplative space in which to live and design. [Claire]

Image: Euy Suk Kwon, The University of Sheffield

The Arts Tower – Gollins, Melvin, Ward & Partners, 1966

This building is one of the main reasons why I came to study in Sheffield in the first place. The bright, naturally lit studios of the architecture department on the 17th/18th floors were unlike any I had seen at other universities. Despite having spent far too many late nights in the Tower over the past few years, the views of Sheffield seen from the top will never fail to amaze me. Additionally, I love the fact this building has become such a key landmark for the city and its skyline. [Mo]

Image: Paul Testa

Cutlers Hotel – Mansell Jenkinson & Partners, 1961-64
I always admire this steel and concrete facade if I’m going to the Curzon Cinema in the city centre. You pretty much don’t see it unless you’re going to the cinema so it’s a bit of a hidden gem. I took this photo of it back in 2016. [Paul]
View the full programme & book tickets at: