Project innovative in ambition finally reaches fruition at Sheffield university

Architects in Sheffield are all smiles after their latest project for the University of Sheffield – the Engineering Heartspace – reached practical completion.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 10:33 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 12:55 pm
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Bond Bryan are delighted to see that their latest project for the University of Sheffield – the Engineering Heartspace – has now reached practical completion.

The Engineering Heartspace sits beneath a dramatic undulating glass roof structure, providing a unique space for the whole of the faculty.

The quadruple height atrium, inserted between the Grade II listed Mappin Building and the 1885 Central Wing, offers highly-serviced laboratories, offices and a café - as well as providing a collaboration space for students and staff from various departments.

A new entrance connection to Portobello Street provides an additional destination on the pedestrian route that links a range of campus facilities including the Students’ Union, the Information Commons (Learning Centre) and the University’s ‘Diamond’ building.

The contemporary curved roof design contrasts with the existing formal brick buildings - floating across the tops of the existing roofs and creating a clear distinction between the old and the new. However, the design takes visual cues from the Mappin Building’s original “Star of David” ventilation outlets with its own interlocking triangular glass and solid roof panels. The new triangular steel ‘tree’ columns are also deliberately positioned to frame key features of the existing buildings.

Matt Hutton, Director said: “We are all absolutely thrilled to see this project finally come to fruition; it has been an extremely challenging scheme from inception through to completion.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of a project so rich in heritage to the local area and so innovative in ambition: the simple concept - of having a curved highly-engineered roof adjacent to the robust/rational brick walls and slate roofs of the historic existing buildings - is about celebrating the engineering of both the past and the present, inviting the building's users to examine both in more detail.

“This is what conservation should be about - engaging with the user and the wider public and bringing these buildings back to the prominence they deserve.”

Keith Lilley, Director of Estates and Facilities Management at the University of Sheffield, said that he was delighted with the finished building.