Yorkshire Artspace Society Ltd
Located in Sheffield, Persistence Works was the UK’s first purpose-built fine art and crafts studio complex and provides a permanent base for over 80 artists. The client was Yorkshire ArtSpace, a charitable organisation supporting artists and craftspeople by providing studio space at affordable rents, while offering a wide range of visual arts events and activities to the community.
The project was part funded from the National Lottery through the Arts Council of England and the European Regional Development Fund, although the intention was that this low maintenance, low energy facility would provide sufficient studio space to enable it to become financially independent.
The site is a prominent one, situated at the inter-section between the cultural and industrial developments within Sheffield’s old cutlery industries’ quarter. The function of the building is a synthesis of the two aspects of the cultural and industrial sectors; a synthesis which is also reflected in its form.
The building demonstrates innovation in our use of materials. It explores the use of concrete while the design and method of construction were carefully researched to achieve the highest quality affordable finish. The cast in situ concrete is contrasted with lightweight, frameless glass elements. The building incorporates a number of artists’ works, with the primary collaboration a “floating wall” to the main frontage.