03 January 2008

Architecture celebrates 100 years of students

Staff, students, alumni and the local Sheffield community will get the chance to learn more about the rich history of the University of Sheffield’s School of Architecture, as well as its plans for the future, as it celebrates its Centenary Year in 2008.

Photo: Architecture Centenary logo

The University’s School of Architecture will celebrate 100 years since its first students came to Sheffield with a number of events throughout the year, including an exhibition, a public lecture series and a reunion in July for its alumni.

The School of Architecture began in 1908 as a shared initiative between the new University and the Sheffield Society of Architects. William Purchon, an Arts and Crafts man, was appointed as the School’s first lecturer for its then three-year Architecture course.

Before 1914, the School had about a dozen students but by 1952 numbers had risen to around 200. 1965 saw the creation of the Faculty of Architectural Studies and also saw the School’s move into the place it now calls home, the University’s Arts Tower. Today there are 486 full-time students studying Architecture here.

The main event of the Centenary Year will be the School’s Centenary Exhibition which opens on 20 June 2008 in the Arts Tower and Western Bank Library. The exhibition will focus on four main themes: People, Processes, Profession and Place. A history of the School, it will include documents and photos, typical student work from each decade, works and publications by distinguished alumni, drawings by student medal winners, architectural models and much more.

Renowned architectural experts will also visit the University throughout the year as part of the School’s lecture series. The series will culminate in the University’s Firth Lecture in December 2008 which will conclude the School’s year-long celebrations.

A full-colour, illustrated book of the School’s history will also be on sale throughout the year. The book, entitled University of Sheffield School of Architecture 1908-2008, will include details of the changing character of the School, from its rise from local initiative to international importance.

Professor Roger Plank, Head of the School of Architecture, said, “The School of Architecture owes its very existence to the Sheffield Society of Architects, who agreed to underwrite any deficit on the salary of the one and only lecturer in architecture during the first three years of operation. Today, the School has over 25 academic staff and 486 students and is considered to be one of the leading architectural schools in the world. This international reputation is largely thanks to the dedicated body of staff and students, both past and present.

“I am extremely proud of what the School has achieved in the past 100 years and hope the next century brings about even more prosperity and success.”

For further details of Architecture's centenary celebrations including the alumni reunion, please click on the link below: