‘Rain’ – ‘Passers-by seem drawn to these polished spheres.’

‘Rain’ – Millennium Square, Sheffield. Image: Cassini International

Let’s talk about Colin Rose, sculptor, printmaker, and lecturer. He was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1950 and studied at the Polytechnic and University there.

Over the years he has worked in a variety of mediums from mirror polished stainless steel to stone. More unusually he has worked with Rope, Brick and even Coal Dust depending on the requirement of the brief.

But what is his connection to Sheffield?

Colin Rose. Sculptor and printmaker. Image: Cheeseburn

He was the winner of a design competition in 2003 which resulted in a ‘blue space’ water feature that is representative of Millennium Square.

‘Rain’ is designed to evoke the falling of rain drops upon the ground, with the small pools at the base of each steel ball creating the ripple effect.

The steel balls, of which there are nine spheres in varying sizes up to 2m in diameter, symbolise the steel, craftsmanship, stonework, and water, which are symbolic of Sheffield’s industrial heritage.

The water sparkles at night due to dozens of colour-changing LED lights set in the paving, and into the rim of the pools under each of the steel ball raindrops.

Rose’s commissions can be seen throughout the UK and include: ‘Meteor’ – Jodrell Bank, ‘You – Genome Centre, Cambridge, StarBall – EBI, Cambridge, ‘Swirl Cone – Carmarthen, and 10 Swirl – Gateshead.

While developing his practice Colin taught fine art and was head of Sculpture at Sunderland University from 2000 till 2006.

Steel reflection. ‘Rain’ – Millennium Square, Sheffield. Image: DJP/2020

©2022 David Poole. All Rights Reserved.


Replacement chimneys arrive at Pepper Pot building

A chimney stack is lowered into place. Image: Sheffield Star

The Sheffield Star has posted several photographs of ‘fake’ chimneys that are being installed on the Pepper Pot building.

Six historic chimneys were removed as part of Heart of the City reconstruction, with only the façade remaining.

The Pepper Pot building is in Block C, bound by Pinstone Street, Cambridge Street and Charles Street.

Developers had asked for permission to change its original plans, by reducing the number of chimneys – designed by architects Flockton and Gibbs – and replicating only one.

Sheffield City Council’s planning committee overwhelmingly rejected the bid against the advice of officers who warned that refusal would put economic, social and environmental benefits of the scheme on hold and may lead to other cost cutting.

The replacement chimneys are two-tonne, 10ft ‘brick’ stacks, and thought to be made from glass reinforced concrete.

The pre-formed feature was seen on a lorry on PInstone Street ahead of being winched to the top of the Pepper Pot building. Image: Sheffield Star
A replacement a two-tonne, 10ft brick stack. A total of six were removed as part of a total revamp of the building. Image: Sheffield Star

Sheffield City Council targets developers for two new Heart of the City sites

Sheffield City Council has gone to market with two new development plots within its transformational £470m Heart of the City masterplan.

The Council and its appointed marketing agent, CBRE, are seeking buyers for two development sites located on the former car park between Rockingham Street, Wellington Street and Carver Street.

The new developments would further contribute to the rapidly growing mixed-use district that is being created through Heart of the City – this includes the already completed Grosvenor House, plus several under-construction office, leisure, and residential developments.

The two new plots are located at opposite corners of the evolving Pound’s Park, having been originally outlined during the Council’s public consultation for this landmark public space last year.

Construction of Pound’s Park is already well underway and is set to complete towards the end of this year. By prioritising the physical and mental wellbeing of its visitors – through a focus on pedestrians, cycling, active play, and relaxation – the new green space is seen as a big draw for potential developers.

The sites are expected to provide active ground floor uses such as cafes and restaurants onto this high-quality public realm with office, hotel and residential uses on the upper floors considered appropriate. Whilst both sites could be developed by a single purchaser, the Council will consider separate or combined offers for the sites.

The largest of the two new sites (Site B) sits on the southeastern side of the park on the corner of Carver Street and Wellington Street.

One of the requirements for this site is that it must incorporate and display the locally cherished William Mitchell Frieze artwork, which was carefully removed from Barker’s Pool House to make way for a new Radisson Blu hotel last year.

The second site (Site A) sits to the northeast of the park on the corner of Rockingham Street and Division Lane.


The Sheffield ‘Cheesegrater’

Q-Park Charles Street, with aluminium solar shading, was designed by Allies and Morrison, also responsible for building Nunnery Square – Phase 1. Photograph: mcmedia

It is one of Sheffield’s oddest buildings, and probably one of the most photographed. Liked by many. Hated by many. The Q-Park, Charles Street, opened in 2008, and the extraordinary steel cladding merited the ‘Cheesegrater’ name.

The ten-storey car park was designed by architects Allies and Morrison, and constructed by Sheffield-based J.F. Finnegan  as part of the Heart of the City project, which also included the Peace Gardens, Winter Garden and Millennium Gallery.

The small parcel of land it sits on was once the site of the Yorkshire Grey, a public house dating to 1833, once known as the Minerva Tavern and later Bar Rio, and so there was understandable anger when it was demolished.

The frame is a precast concrete column and beam construction used to form the main car park deck. Photograph: SRC Ltd.

In its place rose this ultramodern structure with its nerve-jangling circular ramp leading to 520 parking spaces above. Car parks can be unattractive, and the precast concrete columns, walls, and floors, were hidden behind a screen of folded, anodised aluminium panels.

The external envelope, painted green on the inside, was each manufactured from a single sheet of folded aluminium, cut to an angle on two sides, and hung in four different orientations, providing natural ventilation.

“By day, a varied monochromatic pattern of light and dark is achieved over each of the elevations, with each panel giving a different light reflectance from its surface. The variety of open ends and tilted faces transform the surface as daylight fades. By night, the interior lighting bleeds between each panel and creates a non-uniform composition of light and dark across the surface.”

Photographs: Dennis Gilbert/VIEW
Photograph: mcmedia

Love it, loathe it, the car park has put Sheffield on the world map. A year after completion, it was named the ‘third coolest in the world’ by a car parking company and a design magazine. In 2019, it was voted the world’s most unusual quirky car park – beating off competition from Tokyo, Miami, and Australia, and was voted the most unusual car park in the UK in 2020.

There are even claims that Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, built its new Science and Engineering Complex following the cheesegrater style.

Maintenance work to repair push fit friction fittings on the exterior cladding. Photograph: CAN Ltd UK

© 2021 David Poole. All Rights Reserved.