Celebrating being ‘All Dun’ with final phase at Dun Works

Mike Batey - 27 September 2021

Right in the heart of Kelham Island, one of Sheffield’s most popular areas, sits Dun Works – a development that celebrates the industrial heritage, community, and creativity of the area.

South Yorkshire Housing Association worked in partnership with Cheyne Capital Management’s Social Property Impact Fund to develop Dun Works – the first deal of its kind for a housing association.

The third and final phase of the build is now ‘All Dun’ and the development is home to over 200 studios, one and two bedroom apartments.

Dun Works brings together the new whilst celebrating the history of the building from when it belonged to Williams Brothers. 36,000 of the original bricks were salvage, restored and reused – along with sills, lintels, and metal signage – which you can see on Dun Fields and Green Lane.

It was important to South Yorkshire Housing Association to not only build the homes to a high standard – making sure residents had a beautiful place to call home, but to create a brand to go alongside. A brand that communicated what was special about these homes, their location, and the social values of South Yorkshire Housing Association.

To do this, they worked with Justine Gaubert, brand consultant, social entrepreneur and the face behind the Academy of Dangerous Dreamers and in-house graphic designer and artist Jonathan Wilkinson.

“The result is a brand in which the personal connects to bigger ideas about home, place and the relationship between landlord and tenant.”

Miranda Plowden, Business Development Director at South Yorkshire Housing Association

Eighteen months ago, Miranda Plowden Business Development Director at SYHA, Justine Gaubert and Joel Phillips, Property Expert at Crucible Homes spoke to Laurie at Looking Up Sheffield about the development.

Justine shared more about the development of the brand – and how she’d created the whole brand and campaign in a short tram ride.

“I’ve always loved the name River Don. It strikes me as something solid – Don. It got me thinking about the origins of the name. I’ve got a book called the history of Sheffield by David Hey and he says that the names of Britain’s major rivers are amongst the oldest words in our lexicon. He reckoned that the Don was actually pronounced and spelt Dun. The name is pre-celtic in origin and goes far back into the prehistoric period.’

“I was really excited when Miranda asked me to come up with a brand for the new development on Dun Fields Road in Kelham.

“I started thinking about John Dunne and how ‘no man is an island’ and it reminded me of a letter he’d written that ended with the phrase ‘John Donne, Anne Donne, Undonne.’

“That led me back to the Don, my love of Sheffield rivers and real ale. I thought about the floodlines printed on the side of the Fat Cat pub…and that was it! I knew we’d called it Dun Works.”

“Circular and yet ever-changing. That’s the Don. And that’s Dun Works too.”

Continuing with celebrating Sheffield rivers and Kelham Island, South Yorkshire Housing Association commissioned Owen Waterhouse to create a piece of public artwork. Like Justine, he took his inspiration from the River Don and the artwork used stainless steel sphere to illustrate the true path of the River Don on the side of the development.

Find out more about Dun Works

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