Inside The Diamond: An art critic’s guide

We went for a look around our new wonderland


The long awaited Diamond opened its doors on Monday, and despite the generally underwhelming feedback and “snagging” problems reported in a uni email yesterday, there’s no denying it’s one of the greatest artistic masterpieces of our time. 

Filled with beauteous examples of delicious architecture, this building is sure to be a favourite of both practical engineers and art enthusiasts.

Firstly, it has to be said that the outside of the building is absolutely iconic. The sharp outline of the building cuts beautifully into the Sheffield skyline and – as MP Paul Blomfield put it – really is the jewel in the University’s crown.

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The way in which the diamond shapes of the exterior permeates the interior of the building really strikes a chord.

This incredible window piece can be interpreted in many ways. When sat upright, it resembles a thumbs up sign, a positive and optimistic image.

However, when slumped hungover over on your desk in the lecture theatre, it represents an axe. Death. Destruction.

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As we explore the inside of this gorgeous glass utopia, it is hard not to appreciate the many impressive small touches of excellent interior design.

The spiral staircases resemble screws, a quaint but omnipresent reminder of the tiny pieces of engineering which hold together such a magnificent feat of architecture.

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The cocoon-esque IT room really is a particularly nice touch. The metaphor is subtle, yet strong enough to fill anyone studying inside with a sense of personal and intellectual growth, leaving the room a much stronger version of your old self.

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What’s more, the University hasn’t skimped on accessories.

According to an anonymous Diamond-goer, these chairs cost £2,500 each. Great art doesn’t come cheap, and the Uni understands this.

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Now, onto the more avant-garde facets of our blissful new home of intellect and study. The choice of slightly angled bright orange metal buttresses strewn about the upper levels of the Diamond undermine your sense of reality and add an air of uncertainty to the place.

Great art doesn’t answer questions, it asks questions, you know

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Intelligently playing on the contemporary success of Banksy’s Dismaland, the Uni clearly chose to design the basement floor of the building to reduce students to monotonous, slow-moving robots waiting to be told what to do.

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Finally comes the Diamond’s most chilling, challenging and perfectly artistic example of interior design. The shattered glass one the main staircase is much more than sloppy planning.

A clear reference to the arms money which funded the Diamond’s creation, the broken glass here serves as a cold reminder of the building’s roots in the dark world of inernational weapons deals.

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The building is a fabulously designed, artistic paradise. The superiority of the interior design leaves no doubt: the Diamond is a success story in architecture, construction and composition.