Architect’s reveal HSBC’s new home in Sheffield’s retail quarter

After formally gaining planning approval, Leonard Design is developing the detail of the new digital headquarters of HSBC in the heart of Sheffield. The 140,000 sq ft office will house hundreds of HSBC staff as part of the wider £480m Sheffield Retail Quarter which also includes ground floor retail and restaurants.

John Morgan, director of Leonard Design, said: “It’s fantastic that this first phase of the Sheffield Retail Quarter masterplan has come forward so quickly with such a strong anchor tenant.

“Our practice has also developed the masterplan for the Sheffield Retail Quarter, with shops, restaurants and cinemas coming together to create an enticing environment for workers as well as leisure-seekers. A central part of our bid for this scheme was combining work and leisure and creating a development where people enjoyed their walk to work, their lunch breaks, and their meetings as well as their shopping and cinema trips.”

Ben Bowley, associate director at Leonard Design, added: “Sheffield is the city of hills and is architecturally very diverse; the design of the new building responds to this. The building façade is cladded in terracotta with a mixture of grey tones to relate to the natural materials of the surrounding buildings and the Pennine edge beyond.

“The proportions of the facades vary to distinguish between the retail elements at low level and the office spaces above. We’ve articulated the three corners to visually communicate the various entrances to the offices and the retail unit.”

When HSBC’s existing lease on its current building in Sheffield was due to expire, the bank decided to commit to the city centre, a decision which Ben says bucks the national trend.

He continued: “HSBC’s decision to commit to the city centre is certainly a bold one and flies in the face of the recent trend of big businesses moving out of cities and in to retail and business parks.

“The appeal of out of town parks seems to be dwindling; staff want to be at the heart of the action, to feel part of the place where they live and work. We believe that to retain the best staff, your business needs to be in a great location and part of an intelligently designed masterplan, which is exactly what we will be delivering for HSBC in Sheffield.”

HSBC plans for its new city centre office to open by early 2019.