From the outset, HLM and our valued client Brookfield Student Real Estate (BSRE) set out to create not only an exciting new place for students to live and study in the heart of Sheffield, the ambition was one where the project would engender a new community which bridges the gaps between the nearby University of Sheffield, local businesses and commerce and the wider community. The new facility which provides 792 student bed spaces and a range of animating ground floor spaces related to both education & community uses opens its doors for students for the 2019 intake.

Design Approach

HLM’s masterplan led approach to addressing the challenges associated with a complex steeply sloping site led to a series of public realm interventions which would not only significantly improve the accessibility of the built environment and its functions; it would also transform the connectivity and legibility of the local area and creating great new places which foster community spirit.

The site sits adjacent to the Well Meadow Conservation Area and within the St.Vincent’s Quarter which contains several Listed Buildings and other heritage assets. Underpinning the design is a respect for the heritage of the area and site which was formerly occupied by renowned Sheffield tool manufacturer Footprint Tools. Great care has been taken to retain the tight historic street patterns. This reflects Sheffield City Council’s aspirations as outlined within their Urban Design Compendium.

Placemaking has therefore been central to the design development, with new pedestrian link forged along forgotten historic routes create connections through the site which will benefit Hollis Croft residents an the wider community. Glimpsed views of St.Vincents church are maintained between the buildings with new, predominantly hard paved, landscaped spaces reflecting industrial heritage. HLM developed a careful massing solution to create stepped rooflines which reference the historic architectural character of Sheffield. Podium terraces provide outdoor amenity for students and accommodation overlooks new green and brown roofs on the stepped blocks.

The architectural treatment is carefully derived through reference to the surrounding industrial heritage buildings in the area, with brick as the predominant material. Smaller scale buildings adjacent the Conservation Area were designed with simple window openings and subtle brick detailing, whereas the elevations of the larger scale buildings closer to the city centre have larger openings and greater detail with colonnades at ground level and a grid pattern expressed through brick piers.

"HLM have created a great solution to a highly challenging brief and site, winning a unanimous approval at Sheffield’s Planning Committee. They also worked with our selected Development Partner, Watkin Jones. The scheme provides a valued new addition to our growing student portfolio."

Tim Butler