The Sellers Wheel is a culturally significant building in Sheffield due to its historic traces of steelmaking within its structure. Lois Long’s approach was to celebrate the building’s cultural significance whilst exploring the potential of adapting it for a new use, showing how a historic building can become something it was never intended to be.
Sheffield is known to be a creative city of making. However, the built environment does not accommodate everyone within the industry, especially those starting out. To maintain a physical work balance, Lois designed a facility which incorporates adaptable studio spaces and multi-disciplinary workshops for the next generation of designers and makers to rent when they need to. These spaces accommodate the future needs of start-up businesses, freelancers and graduates, which they can grow and experiment within, bringing in the social history of the area through generating a vibrant community of creatives.
Long’s design enhances and encourages new interactions with retained structural elements and any demolition was reused as a new function elsewhere in the building. The new contrasting structure she implemented replicates the existing building fabric in a modern way and improves navigation, natural light and ventilation. A key aspect in Long’s design involves modernising locally sourced, traditional materiality in a way which allows the story of the building to continue through making new marks.