Department of Journalism and Economics

Written by Phillip Pollington Board Director

The University of Sheffield sought to undertake an extensive refurbishment of the six-storey building at 9 Mappin Street to accommodate the Departments of Journalism and Economics. This move was part of a strategic objective to improve the estates’ space and operational efficiency.

Our team undertook a series of briefing sessions with both departments in order to identify their individual requirements and specific aspirations. We incorporated these findings into an architectural concept to renovate the existing spaces –replacing uninspired spaces with high quality teaching and office accommodation with upgraded services, light levels, and ventilation.


  • Higher Education


University of Sheffield


Sheffield, UK


The design concept proposed to open up the existing dark and institutional layout by removing the majority of the existing internal partitions that formed small cellular rooms and long corridors. We introduced cross department seminar rooms, glass fronted office space, large newsrooms and informal teaching spaces that befit modern teaching environments, provide flexible accommodation and improve space efficiency.

Go to Build

“It's going to be a great environment in which to study and to work. Our brief has been interpreted with imagination and care and we can't wait to get properly underway in the new academic year.”

Gillian Brown, Head of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield


The building contract was traditional and this enabled the design team to investigate and describe the complex acoustic and fire-proofing details ahead of tender to give the University greater cost assurance. The Department of Journalism features acoustically sensitive TV and radio studios that are integrated into the existing building fabric without compromising adjacent spaces.

Go to In-use

“We developed a close working relationship with the University and the Contractor to enable the project team to overcome challenges within the tight construction programme.”

Alex Geddes, Architectural Assistant


The construction programme was critical to the success of the project. Works were completed in sufficient time to enable the University to fit-out and move into the renovated building ahead of the new academic year.

“The new building will dramatically improve the experience of students and University staff that work in it. It'll give students of the future access to cutting edge facilities in a bright, modern building that has been utterly transformed and refurbished to an astoundingly high standard.”

Gillian Brown, Head of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield

The Team

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