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Local practices in competition to overhaul Sheffield Festival Centre

A gaggle of local practices has been shortlisted in the RIBA competition to redesign and extend the Sheffield Festival Centre.

Sheffield-based firms Houghton Budd Architects, Prue Chiles Architects and HLM Architects have all made it into the final of the contest for the £3 million redevelopment of the Showroom cinema and Workstation business centre.

The steel city trio are joined on the shortlist by up-and-coming stars Carmody Groarke, Jason King and Slovenian practice Sadar Vuga Arhitekti with the Designers Republic.

Jeremy Till, head of the University of Sheffield's architecture department and curator of the British pavilion at last year's Venice Architecture Biennale, will sit on the judging panel.

The eventual winner of the two-stage open international contest will be asked to design 'a bold, high-quality, gateway building' opposite the city's railway station and create 'much more than a new, highly visible entrance to the Showroom and Workstation.'

Each of the finalists has been handed an honorarium of £4,000 and all six of the shortlisted proposals will go on public display in the week commencing 18 June.

by Richard Waite

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