Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Finding common ground: architects, end-users, and decision-makers in the renovation of the Arts Tower, Sheffield

Chiles, Prue; Petrelli, Daniela; Spedale Latimer, Simona

Authors

Prue Chiles

Daniela Petrelli



Abstract

The Arts Tower at the University of Sheffield was completed in 1961 to designs by Gollins Melvin and Ward and it has been dubbed by English Heritage ‘the most elegant University tower block of its period’. Its renovation, finished in 2012, can be understood as representative of wider debates about the attitudes and values attached to the future use of notable twentieth century modernist architecture. This paper explores the dilemmas and decision-making that characterised the complex negotiation processes involved in deciding how best to renovate this icon of modernity. It highlights the different perspectives and multiple voices within the University and explores the role of architectural values that privilege design in decision-making processes. It may be a familiar tale to anyone who has built or renovated a building involving a complex client and a diverse set of building users. Through the analysis of four alternative narratives of participants, the complexity of a multi-voiced organisational process is exposed. These four narratives belong to four different players in the process, representing four different cultures. The first accounts for university management (the client); the second the School of Architecture and Department of Landscape (‘end-user’ clients); the third the estates department (the client's representative); and the fourth the expert architectural historian (an academic and end-user). This complexity was represented in the composition of the organisational body in charge of the project and the decision making process. The images accompanying this paper also provide a short illustrated account of key aspects of the renovation from the perspective of the authors.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2016
Print ISSN 1359-1355
Electronic ISSN 1474-0516
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 4
Pages 298-311
APA6 Citation Chiles, P., Petrelli, D., & Spedale Latimer, S. (2016). Finding common ground: architects, end-users, and decision-makers in the renovation of the Arts Tower, Sheffield. arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 20(4), 298-311. doi:10.1017/S1359135516000543
DOI https://doi.org/10.1017/S1359135516000543
Publisher URL https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/arq-architectural-research-quarterly/article/finding-common-ground-architects-endusers-and-decisionmakers-in-the-renovation-of-the-arts-tower-sheffield/3500FEDC2E732F68FA43E62A48978751

Files





You might also like



Downloadable Citations

;