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Carmody Groarke bags Sheffield Festival Centre

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Carmody Groarke has won the competition to design Sheffield's new Festival Centre.

The London-based practice saw off a handful of local firms, including Houghton Budd Architects, HLM Architects and Prue Chiles Architects, to land the RIBA-organised contest. Slovenian practice Sadar Vuga Arhitekti in collaboration with the Designers Republic and Jason King was also shortlisted (see AJ 21.06.07 for images of shortlisted entries).

The competition brief called for a scheme to unite Sheffield's famous Showroom cinema with the adjacent business centre, dubbed the Workstation.

Carmody Groarke has proposed a phased redevelopment of the existing 1920s warehouses opposite the railway station, beginning with the creation of a new core and the expansion of the offices.

It is hoped the extra income generated through the doubling of commercial space will allow the centre to build more screens within the 'basement plinth' and a new multi-function pavilion on the front of the building.

Competition jury member Jeremy Till said: 'Carmody Groarke's proposal brilliantly answered some of the client's strategic needs as well as suggesting a very sophisticated spatial

solution.

'It emerged as a worthy winner from a strong shortlist.'

Ian Wild, CEO of the Showroom and Workstation said: 'It was clear from the outset that Carmody Groarke had completely understood our needs for the new Festival Centre building and they have

provided a brilliant interpretation of the brief.

'The winning design was a favourite among members of the public at our exhibition and we are

convinced that this building will make a significant contribution to the urban landscape of the city.'

A planning application is expected to be submitted next spring.

by Richard Waite

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