Client brief:

Heeley Development Trust wanted to create an example of what a truly ‘green’ workplace could look like. The plan was to save three important community buildings from decline and transform them into a community facility at the heart of Heeley.

The first building – now known as Sum Studios – was to be developed as offices to encourage local creative and digital businesses to develop and grow.

Our solution:

We have carefully repaired rather than replaced the windows, roofs and external elevations to retain the character of these historic buildings. The interiors were destroyed by dry rot and vandals, so we stripped the walls back to reveal the brick and stone walls which creates a stunning backdrop for the new offices. The new interiors are open and light, with glimpses into the units to create “one of the friendliest buildings you could possibly work in”. The new screens and exposed services bring a new identity to the historic building.

We created a new, generously proportioned internal street, flooded with natural light which allows the tenants to meet and congregate and allows all the offices to be naturally ventilated. Each of the offices has a different character, we have divided some former classrooms to create smaller offices and within the large spaces we have inserted mezzanines to create meeting spaces.

The extra mile:

We worked closely with our client to create an inspiring, Low carbon output / low energy use place to work which is highly valued by the community and has attracted tenant numbers ahead of all projections.

Sum Studios is a huge success and won four Awards at the Sheffield Design Awards in 2014.

– The Peoples Choice Award
– The Conservation Award
– The Community Award
– Winner of a Project Award

What the client says:

“The new building was over 70% let in it’s first 10 months. With small studios of just 10sqm to large bright 120sqm studios, Sum sets the benchmark for creative workspace in Sheffield. From the mix of beautiful Victorian architecture and new state-of-the-art, top-of-the-range fixtures and fittings; from the in-house comms set-up to the verdant courtyard and adjacent Millennium Park, Sum Studios adds up to an awesome new home for creatively minded businesses in this city.”

To see more visit Sum website :