New courtyard planned for "iconic" offices in Sheffield city centre

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A Sheffield office complex dating back to the 1970s could be transformed with a new public plaza.

The former HSBC office Griffin House on Tenter Street is being redeveloped after the bank moved to new premises in the Heart of the City 2 development.

Architects Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson say the interconnected office blocks, known as Pennine Five, will be transformed into a "vibrant and iconic" part of Sheffield city centre.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Two floors of one block will be removed to create a thoroughfare including a "large, open and inviting" courtyard space accessible from all directions.

How the new courtyard could look. Artist's impression courtesy of: Hadfield Cawkwell DavidsonHow the new courtyard could look. Artist's impression courtesy of: Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson
How the new courtyard could look. Artist's impression courtesy of: Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson

The Pennine Centre was originally built in the 1970s and was on the site of the Omnibus Depot but the architects say the courtyard is gloomy and difficult to navigate.

A planning application says: "Currently, the offices face inward into a dark and uninviting courtyard. The redevelopment of the buildings will result in a more outward facing and open area, centred around a welcoming public plaza.

"This will make the development more useful with a good mix of facilities that will be accessible to everyone."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The architects say currently, access through the site is difficult due to limited daylight, high security, abrupt changes to levels and physical barriers such as gates and fences.

"This central space was not enjoyed by the building’s users and predominantly provided access for service vehicles, making it inhospitable to pedestrians.

"The general refurbishment requires an engaging and safe public space that office workers can enjoy and access freely.

"This necessitates isolating the courtyard from vehicles, to the clear benefit of pedestrians and office workers who want to enjoy the space.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Opening up the central courtyard is a priority in establishing a vibrant urban public space. The existing situation where users must pass under the inter-block bridgeway, through a flat lower level courtyard, then ascend to the higher level courtyard from a staircase unobservable from the street, is far too convoluted.

"The area includes a multitude of Sheffield’s taller buildings. This often leads to a breeze flowing along the main thoroughfares, but stale air within enclosed courtyards.

"While excess winds are firmly kept out of the courtyard by the five blocks, the removal of the ground and first floors of block four would encourage light ventilation across the courtyard and subtly increase the amount of daylight."

Planning officers are considering the application here.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to The Star website and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Thank you

Nancy Fielder, editor

Related topics: