Manor Works, Sheffield

RIBA Regional Awards 2014: Yorkshire

Manor Works, Sheffield
Manor Works, Sheffield · Credit: Joni Steiner

Manor Works, Sheffield
00:/ for Manor Development Company
Contract £2.7m. GIA 1,600m2

Another fine mesh you’ve got us into. This is a community building with an industrial ambience, no jolly condescension and absolutely no ghastly murals. That’s because it has a serious purpose as a business incubator for the deprived Manor Estate and beyond – helping to bring forward a new breed of entrepreneurs through its offices, workshops, co-working space and meeting rooms. As with much of Sheffield, it is on a steep slope and makes the most of that in the way it distributes its spaces. Its concrete, blockwork and plywood finishes might seem Spartan in the photos, but in fact it has a warm, almost domestic character. 

The high-security perforated metal skin has delicacy too and will act as a matrix for climbing plants. It uses cheap materials such as basic insulated panels and an up-and-over garage door that doubles as a security shutter and an entrance canopy. And here’s another thing: this is an example of what used to be known as ‘community architecture’ designed in collaboration with local residents. ‘Tough but tender’ say the judges. Sheffield steel, anyone?