Knight House

  • Completed 2019
  • 74 achieved the design and masterplan for the Knight House student accommodation in Sheffield, England.

    New landmark student accommodation Knight House in Sheffield has been masterplanned and designed by 74, who additionally created the project’s full interiors scheme, including bedrooms, corridors, wayfinding and all amenity spaces. The new-build architecture for the class-leading student accommodation offer was implemented by Leeds-based architects Cunniff Design, with 74 acting as client-side architectural advisor.

    74 sought to maximise the development volume for the building with a brief to serve as a focal point for the area and sit harmoniously within the context of both large- and smaller-scale nearby buildings. The design proposal consisted of two main forms: a 6-storey podium and a tower element which rises above the podium by a further 11 storeys to create the final 17-storey building.

    Knight House was named after feminist pioneer Anne Knight and a notable public art piece dedicated to Anne Knight now greets visitors in the building’s lobby in the form of a mosaic wall installation by artist Coralie Turpin. Entitled ‘Anne Knight and the Dawning of the Women’s Movement in the UK’, the mosaic was constructed by the artist in her studio at Yorkshire Artspace and installed by Anglian Tiling. Anne Knight was a Quaker and anti-slavery activist and formed the first women’s suffrage society in Sheffield in 1851. The mural represents Anne’s legacy as a pioneer feminist, and the cyclical progress of the women’s movement in Britain from the era in which she was born to our present day.

    After the lobby, visitors go through to the reception and waiting lounge area, allowing glimpses down to the main amenity space on the lower-ground floor. Alongside is a waiting lounge, with a variety of seating arrangements. Acoustic panels on the ceiling are a motif used throughout, whilst in other areas, the ceiling is treated as a part of the design canvas and features green timber slats, interspersed with strip lighting.

    To the left of reception is the private dining area, whilst, to the right, a red feature stair leads down to the lower ground floor, where the scheme’s social and activity spaces are located. Huge overhead ceiling rafts here are in strong geometric patterns and are made of plywood with integrated lighting. A dry bar features bespoke lights and three sets of demarcating red metal grids in powder-coated steel. Leading off to the right is the TV amphitheatre, where pegboard ply steps and integrated seating with emerald green faux-leather seat pads are arranged to face the screen wall. The game area to the rear of the main space includes pool, table tennis and table football.

    The bedroom designs, with each room slightly different, feature a similar palette. Dressed with a strong use of yellow, the furniture is in oak, grey and white, with a feature wall in dark green and others in papyrus white with a slight grey-green tint. Flooring is oak-effect by Amtico.

    Design: 74
    Photography: Gu Shi Yin