P3: Synergy Plug-In Housing and Studios
As you walk up into the heights of Heeley, the charming mismatched styles of the local housing climb the slopes surrounding you and panoramic views of Sheffield are laid out below.
Whilst walking along Gleadless Road you first notice the flowing undulating roofs of Synergy Plug-In Housing, which match the rounded forms of the technologic aesthetic reflected in the iPhone sat in your back pocket. Next you notice that the encasing rust coloured roof is contrasted by a crisp white rendered façade, which reflects Heeley’s cloud filled sky.
From inside the complex you see a forklift truck lift a cuboid pod from it’s position as a studio in the stepped landscaping of the site and plugging it into the dynamic façade of one of the inward facing terraced houses. It then becomes apparent that the flexibility created by these movable pods enables the elements of the scheme to work together in unification, creating the sense of synergy that the housing project was named after.
P2: Lux Umbra Cinematic Theatre
As you enter Attercliffe, the surrounding disrepair and abandon is punctured by suggestions of a more affluent golden era, grand facades such as the solitary Adelphi built in the late 1920s tell us of a time when theatrics graced the high street.
In the present day a new theatre has threaded itself into the rich history of performance, the Lux Umbra Cinematic Theatre, continues the Adelphi’s legacy of motion picture integrated with the vibrant personable event of live performance.
Against the bright but fading façades of Attercliffe, the Lux Umbra stands out in monochromatic glory. The origin of the theatre’s name literally translates to the opposites of Light and Shadow, these elements which are celebrated in both the programme and in the textures and forms of the theatre’s interior.
P1: Buttress Apiary
Passing the grand gates of the Sheffield General Cemetery transports you into a wild burial ground which nature has been busy spending the last century reclaiming, and within the threshold the noise of Sheffield’s busy streets fades away and you begin to hear the trills of birdsong and the hum of bees.
Whilst you watch one of these yellow striped insects dive lazily over a catacomb wall you can see the Buttress Apiary nestled within the stepped levels, the timber structure of its façade creates a rhythm with the surrounding gravestones which is inspired by the movement of bees wings in flight.
When you enter the building it becomes apparent from the boxes of felt tip pens and the bee keeping paraphernalia that the open space is used both for education and hive maintenance. This interior space is also punctuated by strips of light passing through the glazed façade, and as you follow the lines of light you can see how the white rendering of the rear wall is broken by vertically curved timber buttresses which are positioned to support the collapsing catacomb wall behind the apiary.