Modernism finds a home

Andrew Jackson and Nicholas Gill have launched the Sheffield branch of the Modernist Society - a group aimed at appreciating 20th century architecture and design. They are pictured at Park Hill flats.
Andrew Jackson and Nicholas Gill have launched the Sheffield branch of the Modernist Society - a group aimed at appreciating 20th century architecture and design. They are pictured at Park Hill flats.
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A group set up in appreciation of Sheffield’s 20th century architecture and design is getting a permanent home in the city centre.

The Sheffield Modernist Society was launched earlier this year, and has already attracted scores of members inspired by buildings such as Park Hill flats and the Moore Street electricity substation.

Now the organisation is moving into 40 Bank Street, a new ‘hub for 20th century architecture in Yorkshire’, adjoining the galleries at Bank Street Arts.

The Yorkshire arm of the 20th Century Society will also share the space, on track to be operational from early October. It will provide office facilities as well as a greater opportunity to offer events and exhibitions in conjunction with the galleries.

Andrew Harrison, who set up the society with friend Nicholas Gill, said 40 Bank Street will put the group on a ‘more formal footing’.

“It becomes more of a reality rather than us running it from our flats,” said Andrew, from Brincliffe, who also runs food and interiors shop Mooed on Ecclesall Road.

“It will be handy for somewhere to go to organise lectures and talks. When you’re applying for funding people like to see where you’re based.”

It will be a ‘base in the city’ for preparing Heritage Lottery Fund bids, Andrew continued, as well as making it easier to take students on architecture placements. “Hopefully we’ll be collaborating with Bank Street Arts,” he said.

The arts venue is reducing its gallery space in order to pay for the maintenance costs of its home, a series of Grade II listed Georgian terrace buildings previously used as lawyers’ offices. Since 2008 it has grown to encompass eight public galleries, 30 artists’ studios and a cafe.

“They decided to reduce the amount of gallery space on offer, even though they will still have the large central gallery and the second-largest space,” Andrew explained.

The Sheffield Modernist Society is ‘going really well’, he said, with around 150 members registered.

Another walking tour is being organised, following the success of a city trek which took in sites such as Sheffield University’s Arts Tower, as well as a lecture series involving the children of modern sculptors such as Mitzi Cunliffe and Hubert Dalwood.

n Visit www.modernist-society.org/sheffield for details.