Barker's Pool Sheffield: Former Gaumont site transformed as new frontage fitted to famous location

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The new frontage of the site of the former Gaumont cinema at Barker's Pool, Sheffield, has finally been revealed

This is how the site of Sheffield's former Gaumont cinema looks today - after a new frontage was installed and uncovered.

Builders have now attached the modern new facade to the building, on the corner of Barker's Pool and Burgess Street in the city centre.

There are appear to be two distinctive facades on the site.

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The site for the former Gaumont at Barker's Pool. Picture: David Kessen, National WorldThe site for the former Gaumont at Barker's Pool. Picture: David Kessen, National World
The site for the former Gaumont at Barker's Pool. Picture: David Kessen, National World

The building closest to Burgess Street, which looks like nothing else in that part of the city centre, appears to have a green 'living' wall, with plants in place on the side.

The colour of that part of the building's walls, and the slightly sunken location of the windows and green areas give it a slight resemblance to the former 'egg box' building, the old town hall extension which was demolished to make way for the Winter Garden.

The building closer to Fargate appears to have terracotta colour areas looking like curtains, between tall glass windows, and is believed to be based on the old cinema.

The former Gaumont site on Barker's Pool, with the new facades revealed. Picture: David Kessen, National WorldThe former Gaumont site on Barker's Pool, with the new facades revealed. Picture: David Kessen, National World
The former Gaumont site on Barker's Pool, with the new facades revealed. Picture: David Kessen, National World

Construction workers are still working on the buildings, which are part of the Heart of the City project, which is looking to transform parts of the city centre. Hoardings still remain at the bottom of the buildings.

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Glazing was still being installed in some of the window areas on the new frontage, with builders seen on an elevated platform.

The inside of the former cinema building had been left open to the elements before the new frontages were put in place.

The building had been stripped back to bare concrete after the mirrored glass and distinctive red frame facade which had been in place since the 1980s had been removed.

Sheffield Council, which has been running the Heart of the City project along with the developer, Queensberry, said the facade to the former Gaumont Building had recently been installed and is in line with the planning permission.

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Work on the building is continuing with completion expected in late Spring 2024.

The authority added tenants were being discussed as part of the ongoing process, with more news expected to be announced later in the year.

The planning permission for the project that is emerging was first submitted in September 2020.

Developers said last year that they hoped to re-open the building in 2024, and that there had been talks with a company over a leisure use for the building, which was also once the site of the Kingdom nightclub.

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The site was home to the Regent cinema from 1927. It became the Gaumont in 1946. Following demolition in 1985, a new building became an Odeon cinema then nightclubs Kingdom and finally Embrace.

The last event was in December 2019. The former cinema today comprises one huge space and a second smaller one.

It was originally planned that it should be knocked down, but was retained to save money and be more environmentally friendly.

Delia Harmston, architects HLM’s studio lead on the project, said in 2020 that the final concept for the façade was a 'playful reinterpretation' of features of the Regent Cinema.

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She said: "The new façade provides an elegant and refined addition to Barker’s Pool which respects the civic location of the site. To the corner of Barker’s Pool and Burgess Street a double height entrance has been formed, creating a generous public entrance to the building."

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