HLM Architects has been announced as a Regional Finalist in the Civic Trust Awards 2021.

The awards celebrate excellence in architecture and environmental design, and also reward projects that offer a positive cultural, social, economic or environmental benefit to their local communities.

The project recognised is The Concourse, Sheffield, within the Yorkshire and Humberside region. The original scheme, designed by Arup in the 1960s, celebrated the public realm space and won a Civic Trust Award in 1972 for the transformation of a potential unsociable and unwelcoming underpass space. Over the years the area has been underused for its potential as a significant space for the campus, and wider public use.

HLM Landscape was appointed by the University of Sheffield to develop the initial Stage 2 concept design to create an important civic space within the University campus, which encouraged users to stay and socialise. New features such as a dynamic lighting scheme, by Arup, bespoke seating, environmentally-friendly paving, bio-diverse planting and a new external waste recycling strategy were introduced, to help address the issue of sustainability.

The scheme was judged on aesthetics, design quality, accessibility, sustainability, and its community impact, and will now be considered by a National Judging Panel for a Civic Trust Award and be Highly Commended or will remain as a Regional Finalist. All entrants are also considered by the Selwyn Goldsmith Awards Panel which recognises Universal Design excellence in the built environment.

Award winning projects will also be considered for the Civic Trust Special Awards; given to schemes which demonstrate excellence in a specific field.  These include the Special Award for Sustainability, sponsored by Derwent London, the Special Award for Community Impact & Engagement and the National Panel Special Award.

Heather Crookes, on behalf of University of Sheffield, said: “By extending the ‘gold route’, a cycling path from Sheffield train station to beyond Firth Court, we are inviting people to see the University campus as part of the city, and come and explore some of the superb landscapes we’ve created, such as the Concourse. Our community benefits from more opportunity to enjoy the Concourse, with increased seating and landscaped green spaces making it a place to stay a while, rather than just pass through.”

Alethea Ottewell, Head of Landscape at HLM Architects, said: “The landscape played a key role in connecting the public space to the University, what was once an area that people only passed through, is now a vibrant, social and meaningful space. The design complements the surrounding architecture beautifully, while remaining environmentally aware.”

The final outcome will be announced in January 2021. To find out more, visit Civic Trust Awards.

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