Truro Works

Truro Works dates from 1830 and grew into a grouping of three and four storey industrial buildings around a series of courtyards. Originally the works produced items made from Britannia Metal, and took its name from the area of Cornwall where the tin was sourced. The building is Grade II listed but by October 1993 it was in a severe state of disrepair after lying derelict for about six years.

A grant from English Partnerships has helped A & P A Wilkinson and their architects, Capital Design Studio, to transform the buildings into accommodation for 147 students studying at Sheffield Hallam University. The complex is a mixture of cluster flats, bed-sitting rooms and self-contained accommodation. The construction work was carried out in a very tight 17 week programme to open for the start of term in September 1994.

The potential nuisance of traffic and neighbouring industrial noise was overcome by positioning corridors around the perimeter of the building, and giving views from the student rooms into the attractively hard and soft landscaped courtyards.

Many original features have been retained or copied to preserve the old industrial feel of the buildings. For example the old stone staircases have been retained, some of which are circular with wrought iron balustrades. Each flat though has been converted to a high standard, and the provision of a laundry, social areas and the complexes own “pub”, the Truro Tavern, make Truro Works a hit with the students.

The developers where pleasantly surprised by the quick uptake of bookings for subsequent years, many coming from students already living in the complex. The location of Truro Works, close to the city centre, Sheffield Hallam University and the bus and train stations makes it popular with students, but undoubtedly the unique atmosphere given by the intricate nature of the old works and its courtyards makes it especially attractive.

The project was a groundbreaking exercise in that it was the first town centre, privately owned large development for student accommodation in Sheffield. Several copies have now been made which flatters both the developers and the architects. The importance of the project and the saving of a listed building which seemed destined for demolition were recognised when the architects were awarded a commendation in the 1996 Civic Trust Awards.


Truro Works accommodation after completionThe original Truro Works






Extension to surgery

The old village surgery in north Nottinghamshire was proving too small for an expanding practice and Capital Design Studio were asked to design a two-storey extension to provide additional facilities. The resulting design matched the original building in materials and style to create a homogeneous building. A distinctive corner window was created to add visual interest to the enlarged surgery.


The completed extended buildingDetail of the new corner window


© 2013 Capital Design Studio

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