When Bryan Jefferson, the architect of the 1960s building and founder of Jefferson Sheard Architects built the giant concrete structure of the Moore Street electricity sub-station little did he understand it would become like Marmite in the fact some love others hate it..
The 1960s building of the Moore Street electricity sub-station from the architects of Jefferson Sheard Architects, who are still a prominent practice in the city, I have loved this building all my life so what a joy to meet Bryan Jefferson, the architect at the switch on to illuminate the building, near Ecclesall Road roundabout, in its new colours.
Described as a striking example of 1960s ‘modernism’, the building is not everybody’s cup of tea but it won a number of design awards at the time and is still in excellent condition. It has become a love-it-or-loathe-it landmark.
“Throwing light on this concrete structure adds to a growing set of illuminated landmarks around the relief road including the Wicker Arches, the station, St Mary’s Church and the University of Sheffield, which make it easier to direct people new to the city and create memorable first impressions.”
It is indeed unusual for sub-stations to be in such a prominent position and so visual to the local community.
“But this building has stood the test of time and it still remains fit for purpose. I hope the floodlighting makes it an attractive landmark for the city.”
Emphasis has been placed on ensuring energy consumption is kept low. The lighting scheme includes the installation of 64 lighting fixtures at two levels on the exterior of the building providing 100,000 light emitting diodes which have a lifespan of between 20 and 25 years. Contrasting internal lights have been installed to the glazed stairwells.
Bryan Jefferson, who became President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, said:
“This building was designed at a time of great change and development in Sheffield. Its unusual purpose is reflected in the appearance and, for me, it presented one of the major challenges of my life as a practising architect.
“Fortunately, we were blessed with a first-class contractor – George Longden – who produced a building of quality that remains in good shape to this day.
“I hope that the enterprising illuminations will give added interest to the building as a feature of this important route into the city.”
Funding for the project has come from National Grid, as well as developer contributions, and the lighting installation has been carried out by Kier. The switch-on marked the end of Sheffield Urban Design Week.
Way back in 1958, founding partners Bryan Jefferson and Gerry Sheard formalised their partnership and established JSA, setting up the Sheffield office. Back in those days, most of the early work was on smaller commissions, but it wasn’t long before the practice started to attract significant projects, such as the Central Electricity Generation Board building and the massive ‘Roxy’ building on Pond Street – still iconic landmarks in Sheffield today!
Bryan Jefferson we know designed the Moore St substation, and his firm also designed the Roxy in Sheffield (above). Two unmistakable design classics right here in Sheffield.