Velocity Tower at current height of 66m in April 2010
|Location||The Moor Gateway, Sheffield, South Yorkshire|
|Cost||Unknown to date|
|Roof||92 m (302 ft) (Estimate)|
|Top floor||88 m (289 ft) (Estimate)|
|Floor count||30 (22 currently erected)|
|Design and construction|
Velocity Tower is a development project currently under construction next to the Inner Ring Road in Sheffield City Centre, South Yorkshire, England, overlooking Ecclesall Road. The build is a continuation of a previous design to be built by Cala, titled 'Eclipse'.
The original plans for the site was for a single tower name Eclipse, the result of a project by Cala Developments and initially designed by Broadway Malyan. These designs called for a charcoal-grey cladded 22 storey tower with a 12 storey brickwork skin wing that was to provide 263 new apartments.
After successfully selling most of the apartments before construction began - Cala decided that the economic conditions were unfavourable and abandoned the scheme in 2005, causing concern among early investors by putting the land up for sale without a public announcement.
In 2007 it was eventually confirmed that Velocity Estates were to take over the project with some design changes from Sheffield-based architects AXIS Architecture. The altered design included a high-quality glass cladding façade to replace the previously proposed brickwork skin. A taller ground floor was also introduced, and a roof top wind turbine array was added to improve the buildings green credentials.
Construction started in 2007 under the agreed planning permission of the previous Eclipse building while a further application was submitted to alter the appearance of the tower and meet the City Council's design standards.
An application for the tower to go up to 36 storeys was submitted on 6 March 2008, but this was ultimately rejected by Sheffield Council stating that a 33-36 storey tower "would unacceptably break the city's skyline in important distant views".
A further revision to the plans were submitted limiting the build to a 30 storey tower and also lowering the west-facing wing of the building to 5 floors. To compensate for this reduction however the plans included the design of a second smaller tower at the far end of the wing, which would climb to 17 storeys. These plans were accepted by the council on 9 September 2008.
On 23 November 2008 the construction crane was removed from the Velocity Tower site and structural work halted. The tower now stands at 22 storeys of the 30 storeys planned, with, as of August 2009, the second tower and wing an unfinished concrete frame of two storeys, and the grounds fenced off.
In December 2008, Velocity Tower - although unfinished - opened its doors to potential tenants. The tower currently has apartments to let on most floors, with the uppermost floors unfinished and a number of access points clad in white painted boards, rather than the glass panels of the remainder of the building.
- "Sun Sets On Cala Eclipse". Skyscrapernews.com. 2005-08-16. Retrieved 2007-11-09.
- "Velocity Aim For 30 Floor Sheffield Tower". Skyscrapernews.com. 2006-11-30. Retrieved 2009-07-19.
- "The Crazy Saga Of Sheffields Velocity Continues". Skyscrapernews.com. 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2009-07-19.
- "Axis Rejig Velocity Tower Again". Skyscrapernews.com. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2009-07-19.
- "Velocity Tower To Welcome First Occupiers". Skyscrapernews.com. 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2009-07-19.