From a statue honouring the women who worked in Sheffield’s steel factories during two world wars, to a project to spruce up roads with flowers and grasses, the judges of the city’s biennial design awards had much to consider this year.
The prizes, which celebrate the best new pieces of architecture, urban design and public art in Sheffield, were handed out on Wednesday at Hallam University’s Institute of Art – formerly the Head Post Office – in Fitzalan Square.
The foremost award, for the year’s most outstanding project, was given to Grey to Green, the council’s scheme to regenerate West Bar and the roads extending towards Castlegate with wildflowers, plants and grasses in a bid to make the area more attractive.
Grey to Green was also judged to have made the year’s best contribution to open spaces.
Martin Jennings’ Women of Steel statue in Barker’s Pool won the Keith Hayman Award, which remembers the artist, cyclist and retired urban planner who died suddenly in 2013.
A project by architects Thread and Birkett Cole Lowe at 81 Slinn Street in Crookes triumphed in two categories – conservation and residential.
A former joiner’s workshop was restored, reclaiming original features.
The Foodhall Project, a not-for-profit social enterprise that runs a pay-as-you-feel community café on Eyre Street, was also a double winner, winning the people’s choice and small project prizes.
Foodhall works with and supports a variety of social and charitable organisations.
The Blackburn Meadows biomass plant on the site of the demolished cooling towers was judged to be the best building.
The plant – housed in an orange polycarbonate box referencing the industrial processes carried out within – generates power to around 40,000 homes.
Jamie Wild, the awards’ project manager, said there had been a ‘record number of entries across all categories’ in 2016, with values ranging from £6,000 to £180 million.
The awards are run by the Sheffield Civic Trust and the Royal Institute of British Architects inYorkshire.