New travel guide to Sheffield offers something different

New guide reveals impressive '50s and '60s architecture in the city including a water tower and John Lewis

Image of Sheffield Design Week 2014, taken by Hayley Clare Lightfoot. For more information, visit or

Want to see some of Britain's most iconic architecture? Sheffield might be an unlikely city but it offers mid-century buildings that architecture buffs will fall in love with.

A new guide to Sheffield has highlighted the best of local modernist architecture, mainly from the '50s and '60s. The Modernist Guide to Sheffield features a collection of buildings including Park Hill (pictured above), Moor Street Substation, the Arts Tower and others that show the Yorkshire city as a centre for modernist architecture and design in the North of England.

The guide is a collaboration between MADE NORTH, the RIBA and The Designers Republic, and provides a modernist map of Sheffield.


Some of the most impressive buildings in the guide include Sheffield Cathedral Narthex on Church Street, the M1 Bridge accessed from Blackburn Road and the Moore Street Electricity Substation. Park Hill, a complex of 1,000 flats which was completed in 1961 and is Europe's largest listed building. John Lewis (originally Cole Brothers) in Barker's Pool, Norton (Oaks) Water Tower on Norton Lane and the derelict Hallam Tower Hotel on Fulwood Road are also must-sees on the city.

Emma England, Director of RIBA Yorkshire, says: "1950s Sheffield was full of confidence, being still at the heart of Britain's industrial economy. The need to rebuild had been triggered by the mass destruction of the Second World War blitz and Sheffield's Labour leaders seized this opportunity by approving radical plans for the city."

Ms England added that she hopes to change people's perceptions of modernist buildings. "It's a shame that more of this architecture isn't yet fashionable enough to be valued for its merits and is judged on style and visual aesthetics," she said.

"Post-war Sheffield was full of optimism and there was a genuine desire to improve our homes and cities for the better. These outstanding buildings embody that brave and progressive attitude that was unique to that time."

The Modernist Guide to Sheffield costs £5 and is available from various galleries and museums across Sheffield and online at

Impressive hotel architecture

Impressive hotel architecture

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