Green light for Sheffield’s Heartspace

University of Sheffield receives planning permission for Faculty of Engineering

The Engineering Heartspace at Sheffield, delivered by Bond Bryan architects, is expected to start in 2017 and complete in 2018.

A dramatic glass roof structure will provide a unique space for the whole of the Faculty. The four-storey atrium, inserted between the Grade II listed Mappin Building and the 1885 Central Wing, will house new highly serviced laboratories, offices and a café, as well as providing a ‘collaboration space’ for students and staff from different departments.

A connection to the nearby street will provide 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 tram stop.

The design responds to both the historical heritage of the site as well as the ambition of the Faculty. 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 proposed new triangular steel tree columns are also deliberately positioned to frame key features of the existing buildings.

Matt Hutton, Associate Director and the project’s concept designer, said: “We believe that the honesty, of having a highly-engineered roof adjacent to the historic brick walls and slate roofs of the existing buildings, is about celebrating the engineering of both the past and the present, inviting the building user to look at both in more detail. This surely is what renovation and conservation is about, engaging with the user and the wider public, bringing these buildings back to prominence.”

The Heartspace development will provide the University with a total gross internal floor area of around 12,400sqm of combined new build, refurbished and reconfigured existing space.

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