Time lapse of the Diamond Engineering Building, University of Sheffield

  • Posted on: 1 March 2016
  • By: rob

Certus Technology have an office in the Innovation Centre, Portobello, in Sheffield across the road from The Diamond building, part of the University of Sheffield. The building was constructed on the site of the former Jessop Hospital between June 2013 and December 2015. My office block has a window that looks out over the site, and for 2½ years I took a photo from the same window.

The first draft of the time lapse is here.

All the stills from the sequence are in an album on my Flickr account.

Some observations about my pictures and the building works:

  • The first picture was taken on the 20th June 2013, some weeks after activity had started on the site.
  • It took me until August to try to improve the consistency of images and I used the give-way sign as a marker for the bottom right of the image.
  • There was a significant amount of coal extracted from the site, which can be seen on the 26th November 2013
  • The Georgian wing of the Jessop's Women's Hospital (Grade II listed) was finally demolished on the 9th August 2013
  • I was hoping the shadow differences between the winter solstice and summer solstice would come out in the time lapse, but there are not really enough sunny days to see it clearly.
  • I moved the camera position on the 29th July 2014 to try to capture more of the upper stories of the building.
  • The building is clad with glass panels, plenty of which were broken during construction. You can see a panel is broken on 28th October 2014, and later in the day 28th October 2014 (along the bottom row, a panel goes from white to yellow, the colour of the insulation). This panel is not fixed until 5th June 2015.
  • I got a new phone on the 6th January 2015 and the picture sizes change from this point onwards.

The time lapse was created using the open source AVCONV program with the command:

avconv -framerate 25 -f image2 -start_number 1001 -r 10 -i img_%04d.jpg -s vga out.mov

and the images from my old phone were padded using a loop in bash and ImageMagick with the commands:

while [ $i -lt 1373 ]; do
  echo img_$i.jpg
  convert img_$i.jpg -bordercolor black -border 58x0 img_$i.jpg
  let i=$i+1

And finally, here is a picture of the front facade of the old Jessop Hospital taken from near the junction of Leavygreave Rd and Regent Terrace, Sheffield, S3 7QB on the 3rd February 2007.