Film photography · Medium Format · Photography

Sheffield University Arts Tower

One of the more noticable structures in Sheffield is the university Arts Tower. While it is not very tall when compared with towers in other cities (it’s not even the tallest building in Sheffield) at a mere twenty stories, the fact that it sits partway up the hillside beside Western Bank means that it is visible from far afield. It should be noted that far afield in this case is probably still not that far – Sheffield is a hilly city (said to be built on seven hills, like Rome) so the best views of the Arts Tower are from the north east where it can be seen from further down the flatter area around the Don valley. It can be seen peeking over the top of hills from various locations as well though.

Corner into blue

The building opened in 1965 and housed the Departments of Landscape, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Biblical Studies, and Architecture. There were eighteen arts departments located in the tower originally although, as the university and student body has grown, some of these have moved to new locations.

The Arts Tower

One of the most well known features of the building is the paternoster lift system, with many a tale being told of people going right over the top of the looping elevator system. Most of these are from people unaware of how a paternoster works and under the assumption that the unfortunate passengers would be somehow flipped upside-down as the lift reached its apex. They do make for better stories though. 🙂

It being such a focal point in Sheffield’s skyline, I’ve taken a good number of pictures of the tower which can be found here.

Entrance to the arts

Yashicamat 124G & Lomography Color Negative 100. Lab developed. Home scanned and converted with Negative Lab Pro.

Taken on 16 April 2022

2 thoughts on “Sheffield University Arts Tower

  1. Talking about the paternoster brought back a humorous memory., When I was at printing college the main building had a paternoster, we held one of our classmates on the lift just before it went over the top, having told him beforehand that it turned upside down to remove any litter, there were lots of shrieks as rattled across the mechanism at the top.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone I knew who ever talked about the mythical paternoster seemed to genuinely believe that, if you didn’t get off in time before it reached the top, that you’d suffer some sort of horrific fate!

      Liked by 1 person

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