10 of the Most Iconic Buildings In Sheffield

Sheffield’s pretty cool really, isn’t it? We have flats that were the home of This is England, buildings of an eye catching nature both modern and restored, and a car park akin to a cheesegrater. Baffling!

Wow247 have compiled this great list of the 10 most iconic buildings in Sheffield, enjoy!

The Arts Tower


As the tallest university-owned building in the UK, the Arts Tower is most certainly an iconic part of the city. This grade II listed building was opened by the late Queen Mother in 1966. When you are in the centre of the city, you can always look up and see this – a true marvel of contemporary architecture. Aside from looking pretty damn impressive, the tower is home to a (terrifying) paternoster lift. (The Arts Tower, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN)

The Showroom

Showroom Sheffield
In 1936, the icon that we now all know as The Showroom cinema first opened. Back then, it was a motor store and went under the name Kennings Car Showroom. Over the next fifty years, the space goes through many transitions – from garage to council-owned building to art space. It wasn’t until 1989, though, that the cinema and gallery officially came to be. Sir Richard Attenborough launched the infamous Showroom Project in that year, and the rest is history. The building itself has an Art Deco style reflecting the period in which it was built. As you come into the city from the train station, this building is likely the first thing you’ll see. (The Showroom, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX)



The HUBS was initially the home of the National Centre for Popular Music and opened in 1999. The museum’s life was short-lived, though, as it closed just a year later in 2000. Three years later, Hallam University bought the building and turned it into their students’ union. Looming over the city, the HUBS’ stunning metal design attracts a lot of attention to this day. (The HUBS, Sheffield Hallam University Students’ Union, 6 Paternoster Row, Sheffield S1 2QQ)

The Cheesegrater

cheese grater Sheffield
Perhaps one of the most controversial buildings in the city, the ‘Cheesegrater,’ AKA Q Park, has to have a mention on this list. Standing ten stories high, this bizarrely shaped steel wonder is an eyesore to some, but an icon to many. The jagged edges of the building are perhaps what make it so memorable. Serving no purpose (other than to annoy the locals) this design is something of a mystery. (Q Park,  72 Charles St, Sheffield, S1 2NB)

The Water Tower


Since the mid 1970s, the Norton Water Tower has stood tall, overlooking the streets of the city. At 109 ft high, the structure is one of the most impressive around these parts. If you want to see a mind-blowing look at the city, travel to the top of this tower where an open gallery allows you a fantastic panoramic view. (Norton Water Tower, Norton Lane, Sheffield, S8 8LB)

The City Hall

Sheffield City Hall
Incorporating classical architecture elements, it is hard to ignore Sheffield City Hall. The building is made of sandstone, which gives it its traditional, yet regal look. The city hall has been open since 1932 and is the heart of our lovely town. (Sheffield City Hall, Barker’s Pool, Sheffield, S1 2JA)

Sheaf Brewery

Ward's Brewery Sheffield
Sadly, this building is now home to a Wetherspoon pub. Nevertheless, it’s a piece of Sheffield history so deserves a quick mention. This building was once home to the legendary Ward’s Brewing Company. The business closed back in 1999, but you can still see the sign and iconic archway at the end of Ecceshall Road. (Sheaf Brewery, Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, S11 8HW)

The Diamond


Could the latest addition to Sheffield’s skyline be a real diamond in the rough? Well, no. Not according to most people who have seen it anyway. The  £81million university development is set to open in late 2015. Once it’s doors fling wide open, the structure will be part of the Faculty of Engineering here. Adorned with diamonds and metal aplenty, this building is sure to cause a ruckus among locals. Because, let’s face it, if you don’t like the ‘Cheesegrater,’ you’re sure to hate this… (The Diamond, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN)

Park Hill Flats


Nicknamed ‘San Quentinn’ by some locals because, you guessed it, it looks like a jail, Park Hill Flats are a true icon – if a little ugly. Back in 1961, the people of Sheffield welcomed this sterile looking building to the city. One of the most notable things about this building is the infamous graffiti on its bridge. ‘Clare Middleton I love you will u marry me’ read the original text, which was supposedly a real life proposal. When Urban Splash revamped the flats a few years ago, they chose to illuminate the ‘I love you will u marry me’ portion of the text. Nice. (Park Hill Flats, South Street, Sheffield, S2 5PN)

The Soundhouse


Just off West street, you will find a rather oddly decorated building. the Soundhouse is The University of Sheffield’s own music practice studio. Clad with rubber and stainless-steel studs, the exterior of the building mimics its interior. Yes, it looks just like a sound-proof studio room. The developers covered the building with fourteen individual sheets of rubber, each weighing half a ton. (The Soundhouse, The University of Sheffield, Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY)

If this has given you the inspiration to design and build bigger and crazier, then take a look through our amazing Civil Engineering courses on our website and build another landmark in Sheffield!


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