The cutting edge conversion of a derelict 18th century former cutlery factory on the fringe of Sheffield city centre into “dynamic and inspiring” offices is a finalist in an international design award.
Based in the old Albert Works on Sidney Street, the Sheffield headquarters of creative agency Jaywing is the only UK studio shortlisted for Small Office of the Year in the annual Frame Awards, which highlight the world’s best interiors.
It is competing against premises in Toronto, Rotterdam, Montreal and Shanghai.
The nomination is a huge accolade for 93ft based at Kelham Island, Sheffield, who have masterminded the transformation for Jaywing, and local developers City Estates, who are reviving parts of the historic Cultural Industries Quarter as Alsop Fields including offices, apartments and places to eat and drink.
Now that finalists in Frame Awards have been decided by experts, a public vote will help decide the winner.
The former forge, at the corner with Matilda Street, was the home of cutlery works Jessop & Smith from 1936 until 2009. Previously it was a file works and a silversmiths.
The shortlisting recognises the way 93ft transformed a derelict building into “a dynamic and inspiring home for a team of 100+ creative specialists”, creating “a cutting-edge headquarters for workers in Leeds and London, and a permanent home for the core team”.
A collection of historic buildings was preserved while creating an “inspirational multi-dimensional workspace”. Each of the 25 rooms and an atrium is unique.
Four large cargo containers are incorporated into the design, used for meetings and social space; a mezzanine-style ‘cloud walk’ links with upper floors.
Furniture, including the reception desk, boardroom, meeting room and canteen tables and seating, along with the large canopy lighting, were all designed and custom-made by 93ft at its workshops in Neepsend Lane.
The company took inspiration from the derelict building to design a bespoke carpet with colours of rust, moss and concrete.
Jaywing Chief Creative Officer David Wood said: “This has been a project that a team at Jaywing worked on for the best part of two years, from finding the building to carefully working out how to make the best use of the space.
“It’s been incredible to see the influence that the building has had on collaboration right across Jaywing, and the impact it has had culturally, from the atmosphere to the way we come together to work and socialise.”
Tim Hubbard, Head of 93ft, said: “This is an incredibly important mark of recognition for 93ft and our style of interior architecture. To compete on a world stage at this level means all eyes will be on British design innovation and the creativity of our studio.
“This is particularly poignant for us as Jaywing is not only based in our home city but we have also designed and bespoke manufactured the furniture and lighting solutions from our Kelham Island workshops.
“This sort of global acknowledgement really puts Sheffield on the map in terms of design and innovation and we’re really proud to have achieved this.”
City Estates director Dale Fixter said: “The Frame Awards shortlisting is a magnificent achievement, and underlines our ambition to protect and enhance the historic character of the Sidney Street area of the Alsop Fields development.
“International recognition of the superb conversion of Albert Works to the Jaywing offices can only raise the profile of our regeneration of part of the Cultural Industries Quarter and our efforts to create a mixed use destination rivalled only by the most cutting edge areas of London and Manchester and internationally.”
Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “Jaywing’s inclusion in these prestigious design awards is fantastic news for everyone involved in this transformational project.
“It is a great example of how Sheffield businesses are working together to forge ahead with growth and investment in the city, while securing Sheffield’s place on the global stage.
“Accolades and projects like this also help Sheffield to retain and attract the talented people that make the city’s thriving creative and digital industries tick.”