An outdoor amphitheatre for Sheffield
It seems that work has started on Sheaf valley park on the hill behind the station.
Possible plans for the park include the design below, which shows an amphitheatre carved out of the hillside.
The project will be completed in phases as and when the money becomes available. The good news is that it seems the amphitheatre is included in the first phase:
Earth will be moved to form a level space for events, with a series of seating terraces above where people can enjoy views of Sheffield city centre and beyond
I really like the idea of an outdoor performance area and seating that looks back across the city skyline. It could look spectacular on a summer evening with the sun setting over the hills opposite and provide a perfect backdrop for live theatre or musical performances…just as long as the trains aren’t too noisy.
Sheaf valley park - image from mp4-interreg.eu
Posted by Sheffield blog on 18 October, 2010
Join one billion people switching off their lights
Tomorrow is Sheffield earth hour where local people can join in the largest global demonstration against climate change.
Sheffield town hall, the Peace gardens, Winter garden, Sheffield wheel and Meadowhall’s dome will join one billion people around the world switching of their lights for one hour on March 27 at 8:30pm.
Earth hour is being organised by the World wildlife fund and the council’s sheffieldismyplanet.co.uk campaign is getting behind the city’s involvement.
You can see some of the Sheffield residents, businesses and celebrities that have signed up to support the event in this short promotional video featuring Lords of flatbush’s Steve Edwards, Pete McKee and entrepreneur Julia Gash:
Posted by Sheffield blog on 26 March, 2010
The latest on the Don’s minature Brooklyn bridge
In November 2008 I wrote a post about the proposed New Brooklyn bridge across the river Don in Sheffield. The floods of June 2007 delayed construction but 2009 was expected to see at least the flood wall protection being built, after which the building of the bridge could follow.
I thought I’d get an update on where the project is at. Sheffield industrial museums trust says that construction of the flood wall is due to start imminently now that the tender for it has been awarded.
The changes to the flood wall meant the bridge itself needed to be redesigned and this is now underway. When complete, the cost of the new design will be assessed and the trust will then see if the original sponsors are still on board. They will then work out what the funding gap is and decide if money can be raised to fill it.
There are also complicating factors such as whether the current residents of Brooklyn works will be as supportive as those when the bridge was first proposed, and also whether the proposal to put a water wheel back into the wheel pit to generate electricity for the museum will be compromised by the tower’s affect on water flow.
So although the construction of the bridge is still some way off, the good news is that the project is still moving along.
Brooklyn Bridge Blue by Dave Kliman on Flickr (used under Creative commons licence)
Posted by Sheffield blog on 2 March, 2010
The city’s culture debate
A free event is taking place this month at the City hall which will see a panel discuss what makes a city a great cultural destination and why is culture important:
As Sheffield bids to become the first UK city of culture 2013, we bring together a diverse panel of national and international cultural figures to discuss the role of culture in defining a city – both in Sheffield and on an international scale.
The line-up currently includes Jon McClure from Reverend and the makers, Emmy award-winning Jamaican writer and poet Kwame Dawes, the BBC’s Paulette Edwards, Museums Sheffield chair Sandra Newton and Mark Jones, founder of Wall of sound record label. There will be a Q&A afterwards, as well as an acoustic set from the Reverend.
I’m guessing that the outcomes of this debate may go on to inform the detail of our city of culture bid, should we make the shortlist. Last week, a Sheffield Telegraph article gave an indication of some of the creative and cultural assets on which our bid would be based:
- the foundations laid by Sheffield theatres, the Museums and galleries trust and Sheffield international venues
- the city’s festivals – including a possible new festival centre in a landmark location
- our creative population (7.2% of the workforce), including the digital economy and independent film
- mass participation events based on ideas from the people of the city
- established and emerging music artists performing gigs in unusual locations
- a possible resident orchestra for of Sheffield
- a base for visual arts
If shortlisted, does Sheffield have a good chance of becoming the UK’s first city of culture? I’d say we have more chance than Barnsley but I wonder whether some of the culture that Sheffield does best is perhaps not mainstream enough to appeal to the panel that will decide.
For example, I know many people who enjoy the Kid acne artwork around town and the word-of-mouth gig and club nights, but is this the sort of thing they will be looking for? Or will the lottery-funded cultural facilities remain the cornerstone of our bid? The likes of the Millennium galleries undoubtedly make Sheffield a better city but I can’t help thinking the heart and soul of the city’s cultural scene is to be found elsewhere.
Hopefully the ‘ideas from the people of the city’ project would help ensure that our bid does indeed capture the full breadth of Sheffield’s cultural offering, both traditional and non-traditional.
The 14 bids on the table are due to be whittled down to a shortlist of five by Culture secretary Ben Bradshaw in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, free tickets for the Culture debate event are available from the City hall box office.
The culture debate - Sheffield
Posted by Sheffield blog on 9 February, 2010
Developing renewable energy projects across Sheffield
If you’re concerned about maintaining a low carbon future for yourself and the city then Sheffield renewables will be of interest.
This volunteer-led organisation is launching community-funded renewable energy generation projects in and around Sheffield. They are encouraging people to adapt their lifestyles and adopt new technologies to drive the city towards a low carbon future in a way that will bring benefits to both Sheffield and its people.
One of their projects is a hydro power scheme at Kelham island and there are plenty of ways to get involved, whether it is through volunteering, investing or general support.
You can also keep in touch with Sheffield renewables via their website, email newsletter, Twitter and Facebook.
Posted by Sheffield blog on 2 February, 2010
Aerial shots of Sheffield and beyond
This ITN video of the current snowy conditions includes shots of Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium the Cadbury factory, as well as the Emmerdale set and Harewood house.
Posted by Sheffield blog on 5 January, 2010
What should we be known for?
@DarrenBristow from Sheffield design agency Quba tweeted a question yesterday: Sheffield is a rich city , but what is it’s USP? What would you like it to be known for?
I always thought that in terms of money, Sheffield was quite a poor place. But we have plenty of non-monetary wealth. It is hard to avoid the cliches but Sheffield has a strong tradition of creativity and innovation but without being pretentious and unfriendly. We don’t like show offs but most people that live here would agree that there is something special about the place.
Richard Benjamin, the managing director of local creative agency Uber, recently penned a piece for marketing/creative publication The Drum, arguing for Sheffield as one of the most creative cities in the UK. Read a cached version here (you have to register on the site for the original).
It echoes Tom Keeley’s foreward from the Disordered haste Electric works launch booklet.
Whether you have been in the city all your life or just moved here, what do you think? What would you tell Darren in response to his question?
Posted by Sheffield blog on 22 September, 2009
‘Sheffield just doesn’t seem to know how good it actually is’
People reading this blog who aren’t on Twitter may have missed the link posted at the end of last week to a great article on the Building Design website.
The author, Owen Hatherly, took a walk around the city for the magazine’s Urban trawl feature and the resulting article and follow-up blog post are well worth a read.
Eyebrows have been raised in the past in response to some of Sheffield’s planning decisions and buildings, however Owen recognises that our examples of post-war, modernist architecture are actually mostly better than what London has to offer.
Of course not everyone loves this style of building design, but reading his feature does make you look again at some of the city’s well-known landmark structures with a new appreciation.
Castle market is described as ‘a shopping centre with a weirdness and individuality that puts all the Arndales to shame’; the Manpower services building at Moorfoot and Jefferson Sheard’s electricity substation are ‘thrillingly paranoid Cold War megastructures’; and Park hill is labelled as ‘one of the great buildings of the century, anywhere – a truly astonishing architectural achievement’.
He also picks up on one of the reasons why local people have such affection for Sheffield: whichever way you look, the charming haphazard sprawl of the city is nearly always neatly framed by the beautiful surrounding countryside, which is only minutes away.
And his advice for ensuring that Sheffield remains such a unique place? We need to concentrate less on trying to be like everywhere else and spend more time celebrating the individuality of the city and its distinctive collection of buildings. With Sevenstone in the pipeline and Urban splash attempting a delicate balancing act with Park hill, this will no doubt prove quite a challenge.
Park hill: 'one of the great buildings of the century, anywhere - a truly astonishing architectural achievement'. Photo by Paolo Màrgari - paolomargari.it, used under the Creative Commons licence
Posted by Sheffield blog on 20 May, 2009
Posted by Sheffield blog on 8 March, 2009
Grass-lined green tramlines for Sheffield?
Yesterday, Stuart Grimshaw (@Stubbs on Twitter) sent this link to inhabitat.com showing European trams and trains travelling through cities on green beds of grass and suggested how good it would look in Sheffield.
I agree, and think it would be a great way to enforce our greenest city credentials. As it puts it on inhabitat.com:
From Barcelona to the Czech Republic, Frankfurt, St-Etienne and Strasbourg, these public transit greenways are showing the potential of incorporating landscaping into good urban design.
How would it actually look in Sheffield? Here are a couple of slightly rushed mockups based on two Flickr photos (thank you iwouldstay and Xerones) that give you an idea:
Or, given the northern climate, would our beds or grass soon turn into urban mud baths?
Posted by Sheffield blog on 29 January, 2009