Part 2: An Interview With a Building: 32 Cambridge Street

So to start off this new module with something exciting i will first be interviewing a building on 32 Cambridge street in Sheffield city centre, i will also be seeing where the building on 32 Cambridge Street fits in relation to the new Sheffield Retail Quarter Plan. To do this, i will be gathering information from a variety of different but trustworthy sources i.e. newspapers, news updates, books, and the internet. The main information i will need to gather is the history of the building in order to gain precedent, or in other words, a deeper insight into the background of the building. I will firstly carry out primary research which will involve visiting the building myself and taking photos, drawings, and just observing the building and the site it sits on myself, this way i will know the information is true. Secondary research will involve a more strenuous approach involving books, magazines, journals etc. as mentioned earlier.

My initial approach to finding information on 32 Cambridge street was first to conduct some primary research for some first hand, reliable information. On arrival to the building the first thing to notice was the new name ‘DINA’ which we later found out to be an abbreviation of ‘Digital Natives’ which could also be seen as a pun on the word ‘Diner’.

I  was lucky enough to get to speak to a designer and decorator currently working on the refurbishment of the building called Mr Malcomn Camp, whom was more than happy to show us around the inside of the building and give us some really interesting introductiory information. 32 Cambridge street was in fact a formerly St. Andrews Methodist Church and Bethel Sunday school, after the closing of the school the space including the building next door was turned into ‘The Cutler and Stardust’ a locals nightclub and pub which recently closed in June/July 2015.

Following this visit i went on to carry out some more extensive online research, it was no shock to me that 32 Cambridge street was named a grade two listed building as of December 12th 1995 by the English heritage under the Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.() The small building, was built in 1832 with the interior consisting of four blocked windows and a glazing bar. The interior still remains likewise of the Sunday school, however it currently has no function or purpose. Before 32 Cambridge street was named a listed building it was under massive threat of being demolished to make way for the new sheffield retail quarter masterplan, however after much criticism by the public and local residents the building will now be much a part of The Heart of the City project.

As the former Bethel Sunday school is listed, it is important that all original victorian features remain kept i.e. the windows and exterior, however this would still give designers a lot to work with and design planning can be made to fit around the window designs.

Expanding from this background research i will be conducting some primary research, asking locals what they knew about the Bethel Sunday School and what they think of the new well anticipated Sheffield Retail Quarter; Historical archives and newspapers of 32 Cambridge street before now will also be useful for my interview with a building study.

The new Sheffield Retail Quarter to be the ‘Heart of the city!’

As mentioned before, 32 Cambridge Street will now form a part of the new Retail Quarter in Sheffield which is expected to be fully completed by 2019. The masterplan was accepted and put into action after a public exhibition was held where over 3,000 people attended  and 600 written comments about the city plan were submitted.

“The purchase of the land is well underway and we will shortly be shortlisting the last three potential development partners. We’re right on track to start work on site next year with the majority of shops opening in 2019.” – Councillor Leigh Bramall, the councils deputy leader, August 14th 2015

The masterplan, estimated to have an economic value of £480 million, will affect Moorhead, Pinstone Street and Barkers Pool massively consisting of brand new useful offices, restaurants, flats, shops and many more socially stimulation environments, one of those being 32 Cambridge Street. The plan will benefit the city of Sheffield both ethically and economically creating around 2,500 new jobs and bringing in a  financial projection of £300 million a year, an incredible opportunity for Sheffields’ students and locals. Looking at the environmental side of the Heart of the City masterplan, designers have incredibly devised a plan to have live habitats and growing ‘green roofs’, and ‘blue roofs’ collecting rainwater on top of many of the buildings; solar panels are also being considered as a part of the masterplan which would be incredibly energy efficient.

It is not only the early Sunday school which will be preserved during the masterplan, historical buildings including Leah’s yard and the Citadel (Salvation Army building) as well as all exteriors along Pinstone Street all sit as listed buildings meaning the purpose and meaning may change, however the facades must stay the same. The Sheffield Retail Quarter will join as an extension to the current Fargate area, creating strong links and larger pedestrian traffic between the Peace Gardens and Pinstone Street, ultimately making a greater community space within the City.

The council is currently working with retailers, development partners and potential occupants for the residential areas of the plan, the downside to this of course being serving notices to current businesses and residents in order for work to begin on schedule; the council will be working very closely and respectively with these people. After the new Retail Quarters’ expected finish in 2019, Sheffield will become one of the top 10 retail centres in the UK with its combination with Meadowhall.

The quality of the public realm within this new city of Sheffield





cutlers pub –

Act 1990 –

sunday school image:

Cutler and stardust –

Retail Quarter –



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