Paul Testa takes a look at Sheffield Hallam University’s end-of-year show
The Sheffield Hallam University Architecture and Architectural Technology degree show is a low-key affair that doesn’t immediately shout quality, but on closer inspection there is some varied and beautiful work on display that makes a visit well worth the effort. Very positively, the show exhibits a rooting in context that engenders an impression of projects about people and place rather than object making.
There is an obviously steep learning curve from the start of undergraduate study; SHU simply can’t recruit like more prestigious schools yet the final undergraduate year output closes this gap considerably with some complex buildings being delivered with spirit and graphic clarity. The MArch projects, also well grounded in place, give nothing away to the fact that it’s a part-time only course and show there can be great success in other models of learning.
The tutors for the undergraduate modules should be congratulated for the trajectory of the students leaving this course with some excellent work being exhibited by a number of students, notably Robert Makey and Sam Walters, for their responses to ‘A question of Identity – A museum for Berwick-Upon-Tweed’.
The three-year MArch course is arranged by year group rather than unit, although there are plans to change this next year. The energy and diversity of exploration and output demonstrated in the fourth year work bodes extremely well for this course development. In their work, based on a collaborative investigation into the Park Hill site, it was hugely enjoyable to see such a breadth of design proposition and output style. From the thoroughly investigated and confidently presented ‘The Park Hill Peleton’, by Chris Brownley, to the exquisitely drawn ‘A Journey to the Underworld’, by Sam Hadfield.
Paul Testa, founder, Paul Testa Architecture