13 July 2023

“The Tortoise & The Hare” vision for forgotten Victorian building awarded 2023 Bryan Jefferson Prize for Excellence

Posted by Jamie Handley Marketing & Bid Manager

Max Bridge and Dimitar Zhelev are the latest recipients of the annual prize awarded by Jefferson Sheard Architects in partnership with the Sheffield School of Architecture, to student’s design work which is deemed as being of the highest standard.

The Tortoise & The Hare

In a time of fast mass production, mass consumption and emphasis on quantity over quality, the built environment has become more and more devoid of human character, imagination, and generosity. Challenging this culture of speed within the commercial heart of Sheffield,“The Tortoise & The Hare” public house takes its residence within one of the un-loved and forgotten Victorian buildings of Fargate to provide alternative refuge from the busyness and chaos of fast-paced life. Reinterpreting the traditional spatial identities associated with the British pub within the theme of ‘slowness’, the public house provides spaces that encourage meaningful moments and interactions to occur.

Utilising a ‘slow’ design methodology, the public house, its spaces, objects, and
atmospheres are born from the shared imaginations, designs, and stories that emerge
through using the pub's board games. Inspired by George Orwell’s essay - ‘The Moon Under
Water’ - the public house attempts to paint itself as the ‘perfect’ pub through the collective
imagination of various players, where its presence, principles, characters and narratives are
not bound by physical architecture, but rather it's legacy and history as a co-created
sanctuary to slowness, which may or may not exist in reality.

The project's primary focus are the components of the pub, co-designed and constructed in
such a way that their physical integrity outlast the simple and honest built form of the public
house. Embracing the element of impermanence to architecture - the pub's identity is
contained within the permanence of memory and culture, which can be passed through the
generations to ensure a legacy of slowness within Sheffield. In the end, like in the writings of
German-American philosopher Hannah Arendt, preserving the pub's memory through these
cultural conduits is an act of resistance towards the erosive nature of speed and time.
Providing resilience to a dying typology.

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