The formerly dismal setting of Midland station has been transformed by the creation of Sheaf Square with its inspired steel wave water feature. But it is Pittsburg, not Detroit, still optimistic that its past, improbable, greatness can be rekindled. Are they really so lacking in confidence? Now the city is promoting a big expansion with a development along the lines of Liverpool One — open privatised streets and real buildings designed by a pride of architects.
He was especially struck by the semi-circular apse at the rear, with giant columns rising above the hall supporting a colossal curved entablature to astonishing effect. And because it has been designed carefully and sensitively, life comes rushing up to meet it — as it always will, given the chance'.
This both enfolds the square and leads you towards the city centre via Howard Street, which has been repaved with impressive confidence. Pitch perfect - The Arts Tower World class But you will have come to see the Library and Arts Tower, sublime buildings of another era and another world. Lewis Womersley inand designed by Jack Lynn and Ivor Smith, it was completed in and became hugely influential giving Sheffield international acclaim.
Gleadless Landscaping Deserves better maintenance and refuse collection For more than thirty plus years after the war Sheffield was an economic powerhouse, ambitious, innovative and confident. Beyond Park Hill and the surprisingly sylvan villas at the top of the hill is the even larger Hyde Park complex.
Through the Winter Garden is another, irregularly shaped, new square flanked by fairly standard new offices, restaurants and a hotel. The clarity of design and the carefully minimalist detailing are an absolute joy, like the relationship between the tower and the ground plain, and between the tower and the library, linked by a first floor bridge.
The gardens provide the setting for the florid French or Flemish style Town Hall with its swaggering campanile. What, who, when, why, how? At this point Sheffield seems terminally dispiriting, but it does get better.
However the street gets overwhelmed by overscaled and dumbly articulated flats. The adjacent two-level precinct of shops has a wonderfully confident, spare geometry which was evidently too subtle for the Council and subsequently jazzed up with silly ironwork, like the entrances to the market itself. This is Hardcore Sheffield is heroic. Its sculptural form is thrilling, especially the abstract skyline composition of stairs and ventilation towers and the spiralling ramps to the rear.
Park Hill - still an amazing post war achievement Do you remember the working class? In fact only a small part of the complex has been renovated.
The public announcement said the rationale for the new platform is to give greater control, flexibility and speed in integrating third-party and retail content and casino huddersfield grosvenor. Across Weston Park is the quiet and organic Geography and Planning Building, a series of hexagons designed by William Whitfield in This is the sort of thing Sheffield wants to replace Castle Market, opposite on the south bank of the Don.
Fountain Precinct, clad in buff and brown tiles, has a generous open ground floor, a very civic gesture. Read Owen Hatherley on this and it will make you weep. So much for localism. The water is both tranquil and exciting, the integral artworks are impressive and fun, the herbaceous borders very welcome in the hard world of city centre paving. It is a pity that the qualities of the space are now debased by the indiscriminate and cretinous advertising of the carpet bagging privatised rail companies.
There is a lot more of the campus east of the ring road but much of this seems run of the mill, the tone set by the pompous Wrenaissance Sir Frederick Mappin Building and reaching its nadir with the weak classicism of buildings like Mappin Court by HLM, The town houses face across the steeply sloping setted square given over entirely to car parking.
The imperative to electrify and speed up services to Leeds now, not inis obvious to all outside the circles of Whitehall mandarins and ministers. By comparison with this dreadful norm West One, a savage and overpoweringly arrogant pile by Carey Jones glowering over Devonshire Gardens, does at least has some guts and drama.
I guessed a PFI tertiary college, partly because of the aggressively authoritarian signs — private property, you are on CCTV, no smoking, no loitering and definitely no skateboarding. The poverty of the environment of bus stations, and indifference to their architecture, is one of the really telling class issues in Britain.
Down Castle Street see the fine granite splay of the Co-op department store, designed with nice contemporary features. Some good stone buildings and viaducts, traditional brick warehouses, the precocious steel frame and concrete Straddle Warehouse, water, boats and some very nice paving just about absorb the deadly dull Hilton casino huddersfield grosvenor. But why does the social cleansing of the old Park Hill have to be celebrated with garish yellow to red panels, so at odds with the character of the buildings?
It now faces a Premier Inn of spectacular banality, basically stacked-up and rendered portacabins. Park Hill was freighted with political symbolism from the start and, as a product of idealistic socialism, it is hardly surprising that the right wing made this a casino huddersfield grosvenor for municipal housing failure.
Activity and banality An unfortunate downside of the great expansion of universities is the flood of dismal, cheap and anaemic student barracks going up in all big cities, and of which Sheffield has more than its fair share: The Moor Power the substation If Castle Market was an outstanding example of post war retail planning and architecture, The Moor, rebuilt after the Blitz in plodding style, represents its mediocrity, although there are some interesting touches like the crumpled corner of Fox House.
Division St What makes Division St buzz is students — lots of them. It forms a very effective defensive palisade to the motte of the city centre. But hang on, this is four miles from the city centre; how is that going to help improve the accessibility and commercial attraction of Sheffield?
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You wonder why nothing has been learnt. These frame the view of Wicker, once an important high street as can be seen in its eclectic buildings, which now eke out a marginal existence as some interesting alternative shops. Imagine if this was in north London What the Meadowhall-isation of the conurbation shows us is the unfettered power of capital and the impotence of local democracy.
Further up the hill the Old Town Hall, built in classical style between andis empty and mouldering, euphemistically awaiting a new use. It incorporates artworks and water features with some amusing mosaic bling: If you arrive by tram you will immediately perceive the problem. Well it's because galveston gambling ship the impoverishment and disempowerment of industrial cities like Sheffield in the last thirty years, which was deliberate and gratuitous.
The city had an industrial structure more like Birmingham than, say, Leeds, and has followed a similar economic trajectory. The sensible thing would be for Hallam to extend its cramped campus onto this site and for Sheffield to commission a series of inspiringly designed smaller bus terminals, better related to the city centre. The problem is that the masterplan goes against the grain of the Georgian grid and requires the demolition of interesting streets, buildings and townscape, including the store and the contemporary, diminutive, well mannered tower of the Grosvenor Hotel, once a showpiece of the rebuilt city.
You ride the tower in a paternoster. After the traumas of the eighties and the appeasement of Meadowhall, Novotel etc, the city recovered its nerve and initiated this ambitious and imaginative project to create a series of new public spaces and public facilities — urban regeneration in its true sense. The upper level has exhibition space and an excellent permanent collection of metal and silverware, the galleries cleverly lit by natural daylight.
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