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  • The Chimney House. Creation, identity and strategy

    LARK has worked on The Chimney House since pre-opening, heavily involved in all elements from restoration through to creation of identity and operations and has worked alongside 93ft to present a multi-award winning multifunctional historic restoration.

    The Scene

    A part- derelict, miscellaneous industrial building perched on the lonely waterways on an inner city island. Shivering from years of dereliction and flooding – the former glory days of its industrial past as part of the Steel Rolling Mills a faded memory…A huge chimney shooting skyward through floors and out of the roof ignored, a sorry state and crumbling fast.

    Enter LARK and 93ft – charged with the restoration and change of use – to create a property of prestige and courage which could survive these modern times to be professional, inspiring, innovative and dynamic whilst recalling with dignity past tales and history with pride.

    The History

    Grade II listed – the building which has been named ‘The Chimney House’ is of significant cultural importance for the rich industrial past of Sheffield’s Kelham Island and also is a key heritage landmark – made even more so prominent by the chimney and breathtaking ambient surrounds including a ‘goit’ waterway (the mill race) complete with cotton mill foundations.

    Historically tracked back to 1860 the building was an integral part of the Steel Rolling Mills which Kelham Island was famed for. There are many uses known – a furnace being a primary use and later, during the First World War a building used to keep a circus elephant enlisted into the war effort to replace the horses who had been sent to the front line. Sarah – as she was known was owned by Tommy Ward and was harnessed for her power to lift, shift and roll parts needed for munitions production in the Rolling Mills.

    The building and area are steeped in unadulterated history, with the interest factor captured by captivating name, some here still, some long gone Perseverance Saw Mill, Brooklyn Works, Globe Works, Soho Works. The area is intriguing and richly haunted by the work and industry that shaped a nation.

    The building has also survived 2 significant floods which have ravaged the island.

    The Brief:

    To transform an unknown building in a ‘gritty’ area of Sheffield into The Chimney House. A mixed use property – a high-tec Meeting Room by day and a curious Pop up Dining Hall for the evenings. A building which would be as innovative and as exciting as its entrepreneurial owners.

    Inspired by Heritage:

    Taking on The Chimney House, LARK and 93ft took full inspiration from former uses, structure, history and area for use and design. Researched heavily through Sheffield archives and indeed inundated with stories and snap shots of information from residents of the City concepts were formed and direction decided.

    Responsible Design & Build:

    The Chimney House has been designed with a respectful salute to its industrial roots and the ideas that the heritage of the area was of one of recycling and sustainability. With this is mind the complete build and design has been based around the practice of restoration and conservation.

    Carefully restored from derelict every doorway, fireplace, window, inch of brickwork and ceiling has been recycled, ethically and sustainably sourced from architectural salvage yards and reclaim sites to complement and enhance the heritage of the building. In the truest form of sustainability The Chimney House has been rescued and restored under the direction of 93ft.

    Local specialist artisans were employed to bring the building back to life by using materials from within the building as much as possible. Many of the older generation artisans that worked on the project knew of the building through family who had actually been employed by The Steel Rolling Mills.

    An intriguing and luxurious environment made so with with the permission of a unique building and fascinating interior design. Features are oversized architectural lighting formations, open fires, exposed brick work, beams and original features such as an industrial staircase and detailing on windows. The interior designed Tim Hubbard of 93ft lends itself to all styles and influences from faded glamour and quiet sophistication, overreaching current trends for ‘reclaim’ sitting comfortably as an ‘iconic’ building. ) Each element of the interior over both floors has been handpicked from salvage and reclaim yards and restored.
    Reclaimed theatre and stage lights, solid teak doors, post office clocks all feature as well as curiosities such as ibex horns and musical instruments. What has been called its crowning glory is the 20ft boardroom table made entirely from reclaimed parquet flooring from schools and gyms across Yorkshire featuring 8 types of wood designed by 93ft the table rests of 4 intricate industrial cast iron legs salvaged from a Northern sewing machine factory.

    Wherever possible 93ft have given new leases of life to furniture and lighting, working to restore or adapt to create ‘heritage’ pieces that are known for their durability and ability to grow in value. Sitting alongside the ‘reclaim and salvage’ is a throughly intelligent building, highly insulated with underfloor heating throughout and an intelligent lighting, dimmers and up to the second AV system.

    The Meeting Room at The Chimney House

    Historically the building would have been an crucial part of working life and community. Just over the road from The Chimney House is the site where a ‘bath house’ stood – so we know that large groups of people would gather and meet. This gave inspiration for the final use for part of the building – The Meeting Room. Created for those who seek inspiration from their meeting room. A space for product launches, away days, meetings, events, training, workshops. Perfect for presenting and exhibitions as well as to use for fashion and corporate photography. It’s a creative space, an ideas factory, taken from the school of thought that exciting ideas are made in exciting environments, this space invites creative thought, generate ideas, bolster moral as well as being intuitive to professional needs and flexible to evoke innovation, productivity and job satisfaction.

    Created for those who have a need to or who are accustomed to hosting professional, educational or social occasions or events in a place that reflects their brand and image. Matched with fully modern and professional technology means that the building is a flexible business environment yet ‘house like’ in freedom, warm ambience and independence of thought. The ‘new’ furniture is a set of 20 Brno cantilever in light olive green leather chosen for their extreme comfort and design lines.

    The Pop Up Dining Hall

    By night The Meeting Room morphs into The Pop Up Dining Hall. Working with the best Yorkshire chefs, finest producers and farmers The Dining Hall seats up to 50 in beautiful candle-lit surrounds. Decked out with English florals the emphasis is on theatre and ‘experience’ through ambience and sensory dining experiences. ‘Highly recommended’ by The Guardian The Dining Hall ‘pops up’ on request and is booked out well into the year.


    Ranked Number 2 in the World in 2012 by global events venue brand eVenue for ‘creative events space’ in 2012 The Chimney House has rapidly gained the support of the business communities inside and outside the North of England through a professional and exhilarating presentation of an alternative meeting space.
    The Chimney House plays host to debate and teaching from universities, to strategy meetings, networking and away days for businesses, brands and companies from all around the UK as well as global names ITV, Nissan and Unilever. It has hosted the making of Heaven 17’s new film, photoshoots and national interviews with Hollywood stars and leading UK film directors and producers. It is also used as a location by ITV.

    Pamela Allan, NISSAN
    We found The Chimney House to be an excellent event venue – very different to your ‘run of the mill’ meeting rooms. The lunch was superb in both presentation and quality – everyone commented on how good the food was and the layout worked really well .The staff were great, always attentive and accommodating. A great venue with a twist and one we would use again.

    Niall Shamma, Finance Director, Warp Films Ltd
    We needed a venue for a creative meeting of some of the UK’s top film producers. Couldn’t be run of the mill, had to be inspiring. Until we discovered The Chimney House, we would have said it wasn’t possible in Sheffield. Amazing space.

    The Chimney House