Proposed apartments at the cutting edge of design

Apartments with distinctive cladding inspired by old saw blades could be built in Sheffield’s industrial heartland.

By Lucy Ashton
Tuesday, 14th May 2019, 2:46 pm
How the Cotton Mill Row apartments could look (credit Coda Architects)
How the Cotton Mill Row apartments could look (credit Coda Architects)

Developers are hoping to create 88 studio, one and two bedroom apartments, including two commercial units, on a site near the junction of Alma Street and Cotton Mill Row close to Kelham Island.

The site currently has six small, light industry buildings dating back to the 1940s but could be transformed into unique apartments.

How the Cotton Mill Row apartments could look (credit Coda Architects)

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Coda Architects, on behalf of Qualis Residential Developments, say in a planning application: “The majority of the building would be brick, in three shades, with one section clad in a 3-D metal cladding system.

“The idea is to use materials that are found commonly in the Kelham area, namely brick and metal cladding.

“Parts of the proposed facade and its detailing aim to pay homage to the buildings currently on site with the inclusion of visible stone or concrete lintels and sills.

“The prominent section of the building facing the ring road will feature a distinctive three dimensional cladding.

“The design of the clad section has taken old saw blades as inspiration, forming a jagged ‘sawtooth’ pattern and profile that will be a visual reminder of the site’s history.

“The history and industrial heritage of Kelham Island is an important contributor to its character and identity.

“Though the existing buildings are around 80 years old they possess few preservable features that can be retained for future use.

“However the northern facade does feature two stone columns which still bear the markings of former businesses on them.

“It is proposed that these two stone columns will be preserved and reused in the new building, reinstated to reinforce the history of the area and provide a contextual commentary to the street scene.

“Though the existing buildings themselves will not be retained it is proposed that the new building on site will pay homage to these old industrial brick buildings by retaining the fenestration pattern in places, such as the three distinctive windows along the east facade.

“The ground floor will also feature taller windows which will pay respect to the existing scale of the ground floor openings.”

Coda Architects say the area has seen large scale regeneration within the last decade with both residential and student flats, ranging between five and eight storeys high.

They add: “The site sat directly beside the Union Grinding Wheel and Globe Steel Works, the largest steel works in Kelham.

“In the mid 20th century many of these homes and businesses were demolished as the residents were rehoused into post-war developments.

“The building that sits on the site today was constructed around this time and has remained a light industrial use since.

“The central districts of Kelham Island, West Bar and the Riverside have all seen substantial amounts of development since the turn of the 21st century. Many office, residential and mixed use schemes were built in the pre-recession boom here.

“Today that boom has restarted and Kelham Island in particular is developing at a rapid pace.”

The full planning application can be viewed here: