The Best Buildings in Sheffield, England – #1
At the top of our list of best buildings in the city of Sheffield is the iconic Arts Tower, owned by the University of Sheffield and previously the tallest building in the city until 2010. Standing at seventy-eight metres with twenty storeys, it is the tallest university building in the country. Like Park Hill, it is Grade II* listed and was designed by the G.M.W. architectural firm. Its modernist style is remarkably similar to the taller Seagram Building in New York City.
As the name of the building suggests, it originally housed the university’s various arts departments although at present it is used by the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture departments who are based in the top ten floors. The stunning panoramic views across the city and Peak District provides students with inspiration for their academic studies.
Travelling between the storeys is achieved through two elevators or the largest existing paternoster lift in the world. Given the perceived dangers of this form of transport, it is unlikely that this record will be broken. Two floors below ground level contain nine lecture theatres as well as a café. A bridge at the mezzanine level connects the tower to the Western Bank library which was also designed by G.M.W. Architects. This library is also grade II* listed and was opened by writer T.S. Eliot.
In 2009 a major refurbishment of the tower began with the interior being re-organised and the façade updated with double-glazed windows. Given the Arts Tower’s listed status, the changes to the exterior were done in strict accordance to English Heritage legislation and was carefully planned by H.L.M. Architects.
Source: Tim Parkinson