National Centre for Popular Music

National Centre for Popular Music
SHU Union Building
Former names National Centre for Popular Music
Alternative names The Hubs
General information
Type Museum
Architectural style Avante-garde
Location Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Address Paternoster Row
Coordinates Coordinates: 53°22′39″N 1°27′58″W / 53.377466°N 1.466036°W / 53.377466; -1.466036
Current tenants SHU Union
Completed February 1999
Inaugurated March 1, 1999
Cost £15 million (Lottery funded by £11m)
Technical details
Structural system Stainless steel drums
Design and construction
Owner Sheffield Hallam University
Architect Nigel Coates
Architecture firm Branson Coates

The National Centre for Popular Music was a museum in Sheffield, England for contemporary music and culture, a £15 million project largely funded with contributions from the National Lottery, which opened on 1 March 1999, and closed in June 2000.


Building design

The building, designed by Branson Coates Architects, consists of four giant stainless steel drums, surrounding an atrium area, the upper floor of which has a glazed roof. The drums, whose tops were built to rotate in to the wind, no longer rotate and have been left pointing in various directions.

Unusual features

The unusual building has acquired a number of local nicknames including the curling stones, drums and kettles. The Museum featured a 3D surround sound auditorium in one of the drums (called Soundscapes) created by Sheffield-based musician and producer Martyn Ware, who later used the same technology as the basis for his

National Centre for Popular Music

touring project "The Future of Sound". Two other drums were called Perspectives (music for different purposes) and Making Music (hands on). The final drum was used to show music around the world, but was supposed to accommodate changing exhibitions - this never happened as the museum closed. The interactive exhibitions were developed with the Philips electronics firm.


The ground floor contained office space, a shop, a bar, a cafe and a further exhibition space. Access to this floor was free, with only the top floor forming the museum.

Commercial failure

High estimates of visitors

However, the Centre failed to attract enough visitors and cash flow to ensure its viability for its 79 workers — BBC News described the centre as having been "shunned" by visitors, and, despite a £2 million relaunch, the Centre closed for good in 2000. Ticket prices were about £21 for a family of four. It was hoped to have attracted 400,000 visitors a year. After seven months, 104,000 visitors turned up - mostly out of initial curiosity. At this point on October 18, 1999, the building's owwners Music Heritage Ltd, called in PricewaterhouseCoopers to administer the day-to-day running. The company was to be liquidated in that November if administration was not successful. It was saved in the interim although it was owing £1.1m to 200 creditors. The estimates for visitors per year was reduced to 150,000. Martin King, the chief executive who took over from Stuart Rogers, then resigned in January 2000.

Subsequent use of building

It became a live music venue for a period from July 2001 and then being taken over by Sheffield Hallam University from September 2003, who bought it from Yorkshire Forward for £1.85m in February 2003. It is now the university's Students' Union.

See also

External links

News items

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • National Centre for Popular Music — National Centre for Popular Music, the a ↑museum of ↑pop and ↑rock music in Sheffield, UK, in a specially built building which is shaped like four very large, shiny drums, and which contains information about pop and rock music and shows films of …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Popular music of Manchester — Contents 1 The pop groups of the 1960s and early 1970s 2 The Sex Pistols at the Free Trade Hall and Punk Rock 3 Factory Records and the post punk period 4 …   Wikipedia

  • Centre for Music and Performing Arts — The Centre for Music and Performing Arts (or CMPA) is a specialised department of the Colchester Institute. The centre caters to all kinds of performing arts, including classical music, jazz and popular music studies, vocal instruction, acting… …   Wikipedia

  • American popular music — had a profound effect on music across the world. The country has seen the rise of popular styles that have had a significant influence on global culture, including ragtime, blues, jazz, rock, R B, doo wop, gospel, soul, funk, heavy metal, punk,… …   Wikipedia

  • Chan Centre for the Performing Arts — Chan Shun Concert Hall, at the Chan Centre The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts is located on the campus of the University of British Columbia near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is situated within the natural landscape of the campus… …   Wikipedia

  • List of contestants from the UK national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest — Eurovision: Your Country Needs You is the most recent name of the BBC TV show broadcast annually to select Britain s entry into the Eurovision Song Contest. Shows of similar formats have previously gone under several other names, including… …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Wales — Part of a series on the Culture of Wales Cuisine …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Sweden — Sweden shares the tradition of Nordic folk dance music with its neighboring countries including polka, schottische, waltz, polska and mazurka. The accordion, clarinet, fiddle and nyckelharpa are among the most common Swedish folk instruments.… …   Wikipedia

  • National University of Ireland, Maynooth — Ollscoil na hÉireann, Má Nuad Latin: Universitas Hiberniae Nationalis apud Manutium Motto …   Wikipedia

  • MUSIC — This article is arranged according to the following outline: introduction written sources of direct and circumstantial evidence the material relics and iconography notated sources oral tradition archives and important collections of jewish music… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.