HLM was appointed to develop initial design concepts and develop the scheme through to the detailed design stage, including providing all technical design information prior to the scheme being put out to tender.
HLM’s designs incorporate an amphitheatre-style space for special events within a new octagonal piazza and additional social and study space, allowing students to collaborate and work outside the formal teaching hours. There is also a new shop, café and new restaurants; HLM also designed six new event spaces that can cater for up to 250 delegates.
Part of HLM’s brief was to improve circulation through and around the new facilities, which has been achieved by creating a new entrance off Glossop Road; this is a significant addition to the building and means that visitors now travel through the building, rather than being forced to walk around it, providing more immediate access to the new shop and catering facilities.
There is also a new bridge that links the Students’ Union building with the adjacent Octagon Building, which further extends the two facilities and provides the university with a unique venue ideal for hosting large scale events.
Commenting on the scheme, Students’ Union president, Ally Buckle, said: “The union is already regarded by students as the best in the country so it’s fantastic to have worked in partnership with the university to ensure the student experience at Sheffield is second to none.”