Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Document written by Peter Downey, Special Projects Co-ordinator for Sheffield Hallam University.

One of a series of documents relating to the appointment of an artist for Phase 4 of the City Campus Developments (Campus 21).




A collaboration between Sheffield Hallam University and CAMAS Building Materials

U.K. Case Study - Arundel Gate/Hallam Square

The Artists Brief

In making this appointment to the Design Team we seek to harness the unique skills of an artist in the creation of this important public space. This piece of public realm, although falling within the ownership of more than one party - principally the University and the City - in its completed new form has to be read as a single space. Our vision is this space as a dramatic piece of sculpture.

Scope of Opportunity
The artist is to work as a member of the Design Team but initially, and as part of the selection process, is required to produce a conceptual blueprint for the scheme taking into account the constraints described during the Seminar. These include the alignment of the carriageways and cycle tracks, the surface finish of the highways and cycle tracks, the main levels and the location of the Farrell sculpture. It is expected that the conceptual blueprint will embrace a unity of the whole development, attention to diversity within it and a sense of the known along with a sense of discovery. The conceptual blueprint should also accept the challenge of making the transition within the space from being within the “heart of the City” to having entered the University’s Campus; each of which has to have its own identity.

Scale deserves attention from grand vistas to places of seclusion for individuals and small groups, to individual discovery of the small scale details contained in various parts of the space. References to and acknowledgements of the natural environment and location within the City are encouraged. Exposure to and respite from the weather should be considered.

The following are to stimulate an inquiry into the projects art possibilities.

  • Ambience - light, sound, conceal, reveal.
  • Spirit - character, movement, sense of place, integration and intersection with existing and proposed urban fabric.
  • Elements - wind, rain, light, shadow.
  • Landscape - indigenous to introduced.
  • Features - vistas, pathways, gateways, bridges and transition.
  • Function - walkways, shelters, seating, platforms, arcades.
  • Detail - surfaces, patterns, textures. Historical, social, ideological references.
  • Artwork sites - intimate to large scale individual works: environmental/site specific works: features, fixture and fittings, ironwork, paving.
  • Functional criteria - provide pedestrian priority while accommodating cycle paths and service or emergency vehicle access.
  • Weather conditions - removal of snow, steps. Maintenance; allowance for ease of maintenance, repair, cleaning.

Selection and Submission
The competition is open to artists who submit their curriculum vitae, illustrations of their work considered relevant to this project and a statement, which should be no more than a single side of A4 capable of being read and reproduced, of how they would approach the commission if appointed. [All illustrations will be returned by the University.] This material, to be considered, must have been received by the University no later than midday on Friday, 14 February 1997. The submission of each competitor is to be contained in a single package and is to be addressed to:

Peter R. Downey
Special Projects Co-ordinator
Sheffield Hallam University
Collegiate Crescent Campus
Sheffield, S10 2BP
The package should be clearly marked Hallam Square Commission

Any general enquiries relating to the commission should be addressed to Peter Downey on 0114 253 2575. Technical enquiries relating to materials should be made to CAMAS on 01335 372222.

A Panel to select a maximum of six artists to be invited to the next stage has been arranged for Friday, 21 February 1997. All who have made a submission will be contacted immediately following the decision of the Panel which will be binding and not available to challenge.

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