The new block for the Faculty of Development and Society at Sheffield Hallam University is no ordinary project. The Charles Street site sits between a main road and the Cultural Industries Quarter conservation area, a grid of historical lanes and listed buildings dating back to the 1700s.
The £25 million seven-storey building straddles Brown Lane, an old alley at the back of the masters’ workshops when the area was at the heart of the Sheffield Steel cutlery industry. Maintaining pedestrian access to the lane at all times was a pivotal element of the design.
The project also contains a bridge made of stainless steel hoops with a Corten rusted steel base designed by David Mellor Design, a local firm with an international reputation for cutlery-making.
It was way back in 2009 that the design process began to build the 9,500 square metre block which includes a lecture theatre, cafe, classrooms, offices and open plan working areas.