Sheffield Design Awards: Refurbished cutlery forge leads winners

Albert Works in Sheffield.
Albert Works in Sheffield.

A revamped former cutlery works, a bar in a disused public toilet and a bird hide on the Chatsworth estate are among the winners of this year's Sheffield Design Awards.

The biennial prizegiving, organised by the Sheffield Society of Architects and the Sheffield Civic Trust, has now been running for a decade and celebrates the city region’s best buildings, open spaces and public art. Last night a ceremony was held where the successful schemes were announced.

The Chatsworth Bird Hide.

The Chatsworth Bird Hide.

The outstanding project award went to Albert Works, a historic former cutlery forge on Sidney Street that has been repurposed as sleek offices for marketing firm Jaywing. The development, which beat 34 shortlisted finalists to the top prize, also scooped the large project award.

Judges said the revamp – designed by Cartwright Pickard – was ‘an exemplar of conservation, design quality and innovation’. “The design has breathed new life into a series of derelict buildings, creating a series of vibrant, exquisitely detailed spaces around the central area. Modern elements blend with the industrial heritage with a playfulness that delights and inspires.”

Meanwhile the Chatsworth Bird Hide, a distinctive wooden structure close to the country estate's children's farmyard, took home the public choice award, which attracted more than 1,000 votes.

Public, the cocktail bar in what was the gent's toilets underneath Sheffield Town Hall, won the small project award. Both the open space award and the Keith Hayman award for public art, which remembers the environmentalist and artist from Heeley who died suddenly in 2013 aged 69 while cycling, went to Leavygreave Plantables, artist David Appleyard’s stone-built creations on the Sheffield University campus.

Sculpted Henderson's Relish bottles on the Leavygreave Plantables.

Sculpted Henderson's Relish bottles on the Leavygreave Plantables.

The expanded Site Gallery, led by DRDH Architects, took the medium project award.

A new lifetime achievement award, introduced by the outgoing master cutler Ken Cooke, was given to the Peace Gardens, which opened 20 years ago.

Judges’ spokesman Lucy Plumridge of HLM Architects said: “The quality of the schemes made our job particularly hard, however, after much lively debate we reached a unanimous decision. Our key criteria for any award was that the project should delight, demonstrate design excellence, embody the brief and be rooted in sustainable design. The strength of the shortlisted schemes warranted the granting of high commendations as well as the award winners.”

Dan Brown, chair of the organising committee, added: “Good design enhances the places in which people reside, work and learn. The 2018 awards have again celebrated and promoted interest, involvement and delivery of good design in buildings, open spaces and public art. As more good development takes place, it can be expected that there will be more entries to the awards, more people involved and more to celebrate. Let’s hope the economic, social and political environment can sustain the continuation of design excellence which has been exhibited.”

The ceremony took place at Trafalgar Warehouse and was attended by over 300 people.