A planning application proposing a significant facelift and retrofit to the Gaumont building in Sheffield, designed by HLM Architects, has been submitted.
The improvement works fall within the wider Heart of the City development scheme – led by the Council and their Strategic Development Partner, Queensberry. The plans will see the building’s recognisable red steel frame completely removed and updated with something more contemporary and fitting of its prime pitch between John Lewis, the Peace Gardens and Fargate.
A planning application for an adjoining Radisson Blu hotel, which will have entrance lobbies located on Pinstone Street and Burgess Street, was also submitted in recent weeks also designed by HLM Architects.
The site of the Gaumont has a rich history in the city centre. Having originally opened in 1927 as the stylish Regent Theatre, the building went on to become the Gaumont Theatre in 1946 – hosting many high-profile concerts such as The Beatles. By 1969, the original theatre décor was stripped out and following demolition in 1985 it was transformed to change the venue into a cinema, before it later became a nightclub.
Delia Harmston, HLM’s Studio Director, said: “The final concept for the façade is a playful reinterpretation of features of the Regent Theatre.
“The new façade provides an elegant and refined addition to Barker’s Pool which respects the civic location of the site. To the corner of Barker’s Pool and Burgess Street a double height entrance has been formed creating a generous public entrance to the building and internal alterations improve accessibility throughout the building.”
Plans also include the potential for some external green ‘living walls’, which will help to address the appearance of the retained existing structure, while also providing environmental and sustainability benefits that reflect the clean air ambitions of the Council.
Although the final usage of the building is not yet confirmed, it is anticipated that retail will remain at the ground floor along Barker’s Pool. The planning application ensures that the alterations to the building’s internal fabric are kept to a minimum, which allows maximum flexibility moving forward.
Councillor Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “The Gaumont is in an important position within the city centre. With a new Radisson Blu planned next door and with the great work taking place on Pinstone Street, I don’t think many people in the city would disagree that the existing look of the Gaumont is outdated and tired, and in need of a revamp.
“Across the Heart of the City scheme, we have tried to showcase heritage wherever possible, so I am delighted to see the architect using the Regent Theatre as their inspiration for the new design, while still creating something modern, fresh and exciting.”