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building for the future


Architects Carmody Groarke has been selected to design Sheffield’s new Festival Centre, uniting the existing Showroom Cinema and Workstation managed workspace with a new entrance building to present a new public festival space at the gateway to the city.

The London-based architecture practice was selected in an open international architectural competition in July 2007, organised by the RIBA Competitions Office on behalf of the client organisation, The Showroom and Workstation. The studio was shortlisted after the first stage of the competition with Prue Chiles Architects, HLM Architects, Houghton Budd Architects, Jason King Associates and Sadar Vuga Architekti + The Designers Republic. Following an anonymous public exhibition of the shortlisted entries and competitive interview, Carmody Groarke were selected by unanimous decision based on their strong understanding of the operational, aspirational and architectural ambitions of the Workstation and Showroom Cinema and the Festival Centre’s prominence in Sheffield and across the UK.

Carmody Groarke’s response creates a new identity for the Festival Centre on its prominent urban site. Using a common language of large-scale windows and public terraces, the design presents a simple, robust entrance building within the context of the original building design, to architecturally unite the public and workspace users of the building. The new public spaces, including entrance for all building users and a larger Café/bar, act as a social hub between cinema and office space. They also increase the active street frontage at ground level. In addition the scheme proposes a ‘Festival Hall’ as a multi functional space for The Workstation, Showroom Cinemas and the various festival programmes.


Sheffield Media and Exhibition Centre is currently fundraising to realise the Festival Centre plans. As a charity we can accept gifts and can claim gift aid. If you would like to discuss donating a gift to help with this project please contact Melanie Crawley, Marketing and Development Manager. The project has a great deal to offer private investors and corporate sponsors and we can tailor a programme to your requirements in return for your support.