Arts Tower – Sheffield
Architects: Gollins, Melvin, Ward & Partners
While the raw concrete aesthetic of brutalism was the accepted style for British public sector building in the 60s and 70s, the steel and glass style inspired by the work of German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was popular in the private sector. Somewhat unusually for an educational building of the time, Sheffield Arts Tower clearly displays a Miesean influence, bearing more than a passing resemblance to van der Rohe’s 1958 Seagram Building in New York. The brutalist influence is there however, as the grey blue steel and glass structure sits atop 16 raw concrete piers and a raised concrete walkway links the mezzanine level to the Western Bank library next door.
The building also contains one of the last remaining paternoster lifts in the UK, which is great fun.