The National Centre for Popular Music
was a museum in Sheffield, England for contemporary music and culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...
, a £15 million project largely funded with contributions from the National Lottery, which opened on 1 March 1999, and closed in June 2000.
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.
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
Martyn "Teddy Bear" Ware is a British musician and music producer. He is the chairman of a local football team: PPA. As a founder member of both The Human League and Heaven 17, he was partly responsible for hit records such as "Being Boiled" and "Temptation"...
, who later used the same technology as the basis for his
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
Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. , more commonly known as Philips, is a multinational Dutch electronics company....
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.
High estimates of visitors
However, the Centre failed to attract enough visitors and cash flow
Cash flow is the movement of money into or out of a business, project, or financial product. It is usually measured during a specified, finite period of time. Measurement of cash flow can be used for calculating other parameters that give information on a company's value and situation.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
PricewaterhouseCoopers is a global professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest professional services firm measured by revenues and one of the "Big Four" accountancy firms....
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
Sheffield Hallam University is a higher education institution in South Yorkshire, England, based on two sites in Sheffield. City Campus is located in the city centre, close to Sheffield railway station, and Collegiate Crescent Campus is about two miles away, adjacent to Ecclesall Road in...
from September 2003, who bought it from Yorkshire Forward
Yorkshire Forward is the regional development agency for the Yorkshire and the Humber region of the United Kingdom. It supports the development of business in the region by encouraging public and private investment in education, skills, environment and infrastructure...
for £1.85m in February 2003. It is now
the university's Students' Union
A students' union, student government, student senate, students' association, guild of students or government of student body is a student organization present in many colleges and universities, and has started appearing in some high schools...
- National Media Museum
- Millennium Dome
The Millennium Dome, colloquially referred to simply as The Dome or even The O2 Arena, is the original name of a large dome-shaped building, originally used to house the Millennium Experience, a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millennium...
- Earth Centre, Doncaster
The Earth Centre, Doncaster was intended to "establish a world centre for sustainable development promoting the best environmental and sustainable practice" which opened in 1999 with funding from the Millennium Commission in Conisbrough, Metropolitan borough of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England...
- closed in September 2004
- British Music Experience
The British Music Experience is a permanent exhibition, taking up more than 20,000 square feet, installed into The O2 Bubble, part of The O2 in Greenwich, London...
- opened ten years later in March 2009 in London