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First Look At St Pauls Final Phase

Here's a first look at the tallest office building Sheffield has ever seen, the third block of the under construction St Paul's Place project. Fitting in nicely with the existing and under construction blocks that stand about 35 metres tall this one has been designed by Manchester based architects, Hodder Associates, and but for the nearby City Lofts Tower would dominate the entire development.

Clad in pale yellow stone with vertically stretched glass windows with a metal skeleton frame it features 11 floors of A2 office accommodation standing above retail space and topped with a plant floor. To feed public access through into St Paulís Place one corner is cantilevered to provide a walk way underneath the building such is the density and lack of space between it and the neighbouring proposed car park.

The adjacent car park is also part of the same development and clad in reflective metal plates much unlike the stereotypical concrete lumps we've come to expect from many car parks that blight British cities. Unlike the office blocks it shows off some of the creativity they have drowned in architectural conservatism.

As with many developments part of the problem comes not from the individual architecture but the desperation to build as densely as possible. In not building too tall this shows the weakness that well intended height restrictions can place on planners and architects as they wrestle with the commercial demands to maximise space within the development - the outcome is the scheme is built out rather than up and the public realm is more contained and overwhelmed as a result.

There are bound to be feelings that the development is too dense, the public space in particular face getting little sunlight even in the middle of summer, whilst the office development standing on such a prime site lacks much imagination and only seems to fit in with what's already there.

That does of course help silence critics who are often whipped up by more daring architecture but a reluctance to take risks can reduce the prestige that such a landmark development should carry and hardly forms the most stunning of gateways to Sheffield.

The existing St Paul's Place blocks may look fresh and new but then so was the despised "egg box", the former council HQ, that previously stood on the site when new.

The application for block 3 has already been approved with matters reserved, and Sheffield City Council are expected to give it the full go-ahead around April.

Article Related buildings:

St Pauls Place Block 3

St Pauls Place Block 3
St Pauls Place Car Park

St Pauls Place Car Park
Arundel Gate Block 1

Arundel Gate Block 1
St Pauls Place Sheffield
St Pauls Place Sheffield
St Pauls Place Sheffield
St Pauls Place Sheffield
St Pauls Place Sheffield
St Pauls Place Sheffield