Architects in Sheffield

If you need an architect in Sheffield South Yorkshire, this article will help you find the right one for your scheme.

While the choice of architects in Sheffield is huge, we’ll explain how to narrow down your search to identify the best practice for you.

It’s important to find an architect with experience of similar projects to yours, and always look at examples of their completed work if possible.

Also, see what sort of reviews they get and find out about their reputation and professional track record.

In this article, we give a snapshot of Sheffield’s architectural history and current development plans, before showcasing the work of five amazing architects in Sheffield and South Yorkshire to provide you with plenty of inspiration.

A dated house with dark, disconnected spaces was transformed by Sheffield-based HEM Architects into this amazingly light, modern family home.

Sheffield’s architecture

This South Yorkshire city on the edge of the Peak District National Park was built on seven hills with five rivers close by.

It has a wide range of architectural styles, from the 13th century Sheffield Cathedral to the Brutalist concrete architecture of Sheffield Magistrates Court, designed in 1978.  

Since its prominence in the Industrial Revolution when it was at the heart of the steel industry, the City of Steel has experienced many transformations. During the manufacturing boom, many industrial buildings were constructed and suffered badly from the resulting smog and pollution.

However, from the 1930s the council and public benefactors bought land surrounding the city to protect it from development. Today, the industrial buildings have been repurposed to become stylish places for shopping and leisure in this ever-changing city.

There was a house building surge at the turn of the 20th century, followed by a slowdown and then another intensive period of building after World War II as the city was badly bombed. As a result, many tower blocks were hastily constructed to unsatisfactory standards; many have been demolished and replaced with housing. In the 1970s and 80s, parts of the city fell into decline as industries closed, but they have been regenerated to create the vibrant areas seen in Sheffield today.

Highlights include Sheffield Botanical Gardens near the city centre, home to the grade II listed, 90m long Paxton glass pavilions and the Winter Gardens, the largest urban greenhouse in England. Kelham Island, one of the oldest former manufacturing sites, is now home to shops and galleries.

Today, Sheffield is a modern, `Green City’ with more parks and woodlands than any other UK city. There are 30 conservation areas and around 1,200 listed buildings. Architecturally, it’s a mix of Victorian and Edwardian buildings and Garden City style suburbs, repurposed industrial structures which retain the atmosphere of its industrial past and cutting-edge modern architecture.

Development in Sheffield

One of England’s largest cities, Sheffield has a population of around 588,000, which is estimated to reach 637,000 by 2038.

Sheffield’s urban areas cover around 13,500 hectares and a further 9,200 hectares are designated as Green Belt.

Improved housing and environmental upgrades are needed in run-down areas; the focus will be on good, sustainable design, energy conservation and recycling building materials. There is a need for social rented accommodation, affordable housing, small flats, large, detached homes and sheltered social housing. The city centre needs to be a vibrant place to live and work in, with mixed use development including residential, offices and recreational facilities, making it an attractive place to visit.

Consultations on the draft Sheffield Plan which will shape development to 2038 are ongoing. It aims to identify land for higher quality housing, designed to enable people to stay in their homes for longer, along with areas for jobs and improved transport.

Sheffield needs 40,000 new homes between now and 2038, along with opportunities for self-builders. While 30,000 of these homes could be built on undeveloped urban and brownfield sites, the rest could come from Green Belt land, perhaps as a last resort, or from building at higher densities in the city centre and surrounding areas. Options in the Plan include releasing suitably located previously developed sites in the Green Belt, which will increase the supply of family sized houses and affordable housing.

The government’s 2020 decision to increase Sheffield’s housing target by 35% has proved unpopular in the city and caused further delays to the plan. However, the framework is now agreed, a site selection process is underway, and a draft plan is expected which will be followed by further public consultation before the Plan is adopted.

Why hire an architect?

An architect’s costs can often be repaid in dividends because of the savings they potentially bring to a scheme. Their experience in architectural design and construction can add expertise and ideas to all stages of a project, for example they may be able to calculate the best use of space to realise your project’s aims, or they may propose the most efficient and effective type of heating system.

An experienced architect will also know the local authority’s stance on development and the environment; they will be able to advise on biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements and draw up their plans accordingly.

The measures required may be as simple as installing bat or bird boxes, or they could be more involved, for example creating specialist habitat. If you need an ecological survey on your site, our article ecology surveys explains this process.

You may only need to hire an architect for the early stages of your scheme, perhaps for creating concept drawings and obtaining planning permission, or for appointing the building team and managing the payment schedule. Architects can take on other important duties such as acting as project managers.

All UK architects must be registered with the Architects’ Registration Board. Most become members of the Royal Institute of British Architects and many work for an RIBA chartered architectural practice.

Sheffield and South Yorkshire architecture projects

We’ve chosen some superb architectural designs carried out by five of the best Sheffield architects. They are sure to provide you with ideas, and one will hopefully chime with your own specific requirements.

Orange Design Studio

Orange Design Studio specialises in contemporary architecture and works closely with clients to understand their brief, using tools such as 3D printing, laser cutting and virtual reality walk-throughs. This team of architects gets five-star reviews and can deal with obtaining planning permission and the technical side of the design for all budgets, project types and locations.

Farnley Hey Barn had been previously converted and Orange were brought on board to make better use of natural light and maximise views across the nearby valley. This architectural design involved removing the major structural elements and creating a seamless addition to the house while zoning the floor plan into different elements for separate uses.

Brightman Clarke Architects

This small, award-winning contemporary practice has over 15 years’ experience in the industry and has great reviews. They specialise in stylish house extensions, bespoke contemporary homes, loft conversions, residential housing developments and commercial projects and offer a full professional service.

New build and self-build specialists with a passion for design, they will obtain planning permission and advise and guide during the entire build process. 

Here, they were appointed to design a luxury new-build home on a challengingly small site in Fulwood, Sheffield.

Ecclesall Design

Ecclesall Design in South Yorkshire are experts in contemporary architecture, specialising in new-build houses, extensions and commercial property.

This firm has many years’ experience in architectural design, planning and construction and a 100% success record in achieving planning permission for new build houses and house extensions. They have an outstanding reputation and five-star reviews.

The brief here was to convert a derelict Victorian coach house into modern home and office space. This sympathetic restoration created a light and spacious home, retaining the original archway and installing a mezzanine to provide extra floor space. The whole of one side of the building was removed and replaced with bifold door glazing connecting to the garden.

LSO Architects

LSO Architects get great reviews and have over 30 years of experience in delivering high quality design solutions for all types of building project. These Sheffield architects specialise in house extensions, loft conversions, new build housing developments and small to medium-sized commercial projects.

They offer a free initial consultation on-site and look after clients throughout the building project.

Here, they were appointed to revise the layout of a dated house with disconnected spaces following many additions. LSO’s architectural design involved a modern single storey extension with a floating corner to form a new kitchen diner, and internal alterations to improve the flow of the building.

Externally, the house was cosmetically updated with cedar panelling and render to disguise mismatched brickwork. 

Davey Stone Associates

Working all over Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Manchester and the East Midlands, this firm has 25 years’ experience in bespoke architectural design and management of complex schemes. They get excellent reviews and offer a full architect service, specialising in loft conversions, house extensions and alterations.

This contemporary kitchen diner extension involved reconfiguring the ground floor and rear extension to a Victorian end-terraced property, to create a dining room on a lower level to a new kitchen. The dining room leads to a sun terrace positioned 3m above garden level.

Next steps

We hope this article has been helpful in giving you ideas and inspiration about architects in Sheffield. If you are now clearer about the type of architect you need, the best approach is to speak to three or four practices, asking the same questions so that you can compare their answers. Our article 10 things to ask your architect may be useful here.

Then arrange a meeting and discuss your project in detail, making sure they fully understand your aims before deciding on which architect to engage to turn your dream scheme into reality.

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