National Centre for Popular Music

Branson Coates Architecture, Sheffield, 1998


Subscribe now to instantly view this image

Subscribe to the Architects’ Journal (AJ) for instant access to the AJ Buildings Library, an online database of nearly 2,000 exemplar buildings in photographs, plans, elevations and details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

Exterior of Sheffield's Music Centre 

Tim Soar (website)     Download Original

  • Exterior of Sheffield    
  • Exterior view in context    
  • Rotating cowls join the Sheffield skyline    
  • The glazed roof and floating red steel cross cover circulation space and extend in to the entrance canopy    
  • Stairs to the first floor gallery spaces    
  • Circulation space is     
  • Site plan    
  • Basement plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Section AA    
  • Section BB    
  • Detail section through drum wall and detail plan at canopy    
  • Key part plan, entrance elevation and detail plan of entrance canopy    

Building consisting of four giant stainless steel drums surrounding an atrium area with a glazed roof

The design of the building has four circular galleries up to first floor level, and brings visitors to their level by way of a wide central stair. The tops of the circular drums were built to rotate in to the wind.

The ambition of Music Heritage Ltd, the promoters of NCPM, was to make the first viable attraction in Britain centred on music, to key-in to the vibrant local music industry, and to give Sheffield a new landmark. It is currently Sheffield Hallam University's Students' Union.


  • Begun: Jun 1997
  • Completed: Sep 1998
  • Floor area: 4,400m2
  • Sectors: Arts and culture, Education
  • Total cost: £7.9M
  • Procurement: JCT 80
  • Address: City Campus, 38-40 Howard Street, Sheffield, S1 1WB, United Kingdom

Professional Team