Leopold Square wins vote of city folk

Leopold Square.
Leopold Square.
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AN UPMARKET complex of bars and restaurants has been voted Sheffield’s favourite new building by city residents.

Leopold Square was announced as the winner of the people’s choice prize at the Sheffield Design Awards ceremony last night.

The grand Victorian buildings between Leopold Street and West Street were built in 1874 by industrialist Mark Firth, becoming the birthplace of The University of Sheffield and home to the Central Technical Schools, the Sheffield City Grammar and Firth College.

But Leopold Square, which had fallen into disuse, was transformed by Axis Architecture in 2007 into a piazza inspired by Barcelona’s squares, with a central water feature and solid bronze benches.The awards, announced last night at The Showroom cinema, were hosted by Sheffield Civic Trust and the Yorkshire section of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Runner-up was The University of Sheffield’s rubber-clad Soundhouse, a distinctive black music building on Gell Street, off West Street, designed by Carey Jones Chapmantolcher.

The other winners were:

The Workshop, a studio and offices in Nether Edge, by DRDH Architects, won Best Building Award

The University of Sheffield’s Western Bank Library refurbishment, by Avanti Architects, won the Renovation Award;

Cemetery Road apartments in Sharrow, by Project Orange, won the Residential Award;

Newfield and Talbot School in Norton Lees, by HLM Architects, won the Community Design Award;

Commendations went to the Crucible Workshops, by Elden Minns & Co; SAFAR, accommodation for alcohol rehabilitation, by BDP; and Hallam University’s Furnival Building, by Bond Bryan Architects.

Simon Gedye of Sheffield Civic Trust said: “Leopold Square is clearly loved by the many people who use it and I am delighted that Axis Architecture have received recognition for their outstanding work.”