From Sheffield with LovePosted by: Ashley Birch
From Works - Darren Hancock (left) Adam Eckworth (right)
Meet the Sheffield based architecture and design studio making beautiful projects inspired by the local area
Locals know that what makes Sheffield so special is that if you head in one direction you can find yourself in a thriving city-centre metropolis, but if you choose to amble along in the other, you’ll hit unspoilt countryside, such as the limestone valleys of the Peaks.
We are, after all, still one of the greenest cities in Europe. A fact that hasn’t escaped the notice of the guys at From Works, a Sheffield-based design studio that incorporates the local area in all aspects of the design process.
Whether it be a full kitchen refurbishment, inspired by a picture of a Peak District stone covered in moss, or a table made from local Sheffield steel with the result of which being a beautifully crafted individual design that pays homage to the local area whilst still creating something new.
Elton Barn - refurbishment and extension, Peak District
From Works was set up by Darren Hancock, 30, and Adam Eckworth, 30, in 2017 who are also both tutors of architecture and interior design at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam respectively.
The pair met at Chesterfield College whilst studying foundation art and then went on to further their education in architecture at Northumbria University. After graduationthey took slightly different routes; Adam went to London to further his architectural education and worked for a number of architecture practices whilst Darren spent time working for an architects in Zurich before coming home to train as a cabinet maker and worked for a number of design and manufacturing studios in the South East.
“The special aspect of what we do is that we get involved in the manufacture and prototyping of the furniture and the interiors that we design,” says Darren.
“Wherever our projects are based we try and work with fabricators and suppliers in the area, extracting what’s special from that place, hence the ‘From’ works.”
AM side tables, Sheffield RE chair, Sheffield
Adam said: “We’re trying to be sympathetic and sensitive to the surrounding area while making new interventions at the same time. So, trying to find that subtle balance of contemporary addition or insertion to a new project, whilst paying our respects to the surrounding context.”
“That same approach can be taken to any project, in any location. Whilst we’re keen to promote ourselves locally and in the region, if for instance we had a job in the Outer Hebrides or the South Coast, that same design process is taken across all kinds of projects that we work on.
“We’re a design led studio, the quality of the design, making and the materials is at the forefront of every job that we undertake”.
This approach has meant From Works is already beginning to make waves in the design world and the guys already have some interesting projects under their belts. Darren said: “I think the kitchen project at Southgrove worked well, we enjoyed doing that and it was a really nice opportunity. The client came to us with an image of some stone on the Peak District, just a little bit of rock with some moss on it as their inspiration, which is great. When you’re trying to come up with a story for a projectweenjoy taking it from something that’s a little bit abstract.”
Southgrove Road - Bespoke kitchen and interior design, Sheffield
It’s clear when speaking to them that the lads that are incredibly passionate about the work they do and greedily take inspiration in everything from their local Sheffield surroundings to the architecture books that fill their Bloc Studio office space, in the Cultural industries Quarter.
Darren said: “I love the industrial aesthetic of Sheffield, and obviously this area, these buildings are kind of what makes that up. A particular favourite is Portland Works where we photograph some of our furniture pieces.”
TH dining table, Sheffield
“For me it’s wandering round Fargate and Castlegate.” says Adam: “I really enjoy being among the few remaining strips of grandeur that’s left in Sheffield.”
“And we shouldn’t ignore Park Hill as well, which is undergoing a lot of change at the minute; a monumental bit of architecture that splits and divides opinions.”
St Marys View - refurbishment and extension, Peak District
You never know, From Works could be the next design studio to tackle such a project, but for now they are content building a fantastic reputation locally. Darren said: “Everyone we’ve shown our work to have said it’s great what we’re trying to do, I think in truth this first year was about us figuring out what we wanted to do, what we want to be as a studio and the type of projects we ultimately want to be part of.”
If you’re looking for a thoughtfully designed and personal architecture project, or you’re in the market for a new bespoke kitchen, fitted joinery or furniture piece that isn’t ‘off the peg’, then VIBE recommends paying From Works a visit to find out how they can help you create something both beautiful and from Sheffield.