Those of you who find themselves anywhere near the University of Sheffield campus might have noticed the giant sci-fi cube being erected next to St Georges Church.
The Diamond is the newest result of the University of Sheffield’s development spending spree. Housing 19 teaching laboratories, 1200 engineering study spaces, 24-hour library facilities and six (or seven?) mildly futuristic lecture theatres, the building represent a huge expansion of the university, making good use of the previously derelict, but much remembered, Jessop’s maternity hospital site.
Yes, designers Twelve Architects have succeeded in designing a building which wouldn’t look out of place in the metropolis of Beijing or Dubai. But if you like the outside, wait until you see the inside.
Contractors Balfour Beatty have declared the building open for use! The only proviso being that actually some areas still need completing. And actually no you can’t go in there! And no, of course not on weekends, or evenings…
Nonetheless, it’s an impressive building, reminiscent of the lair of a more corporate James Bond villain. But hey, any uni building with catwalks gets my vote.
So, as we wait in anticipation for the paint and dust to be cleaned up and the construction crews to move out, here are some pictures of the building.
Click to embiggen.
Outdoor Render, prettymuch faithful, from the TwelveArchitects website linked below.
Over that balcony is a three storey drop.
The atrium. It departs from the brutalist all-concrete interior of the Information Commons, while maintaining an industrial monotone of off-white, punctuated sharply with oddly angled orange supporting pillars. Striking!
On the first floor entrance to the library and labs, we see the current state of the diamond: open but incomplete. Hopefully the lamps won’t all be crooked on completion.
“We meet again, Mr. Bond.” Swivelling in these is going to become a new student past-time, you watch.
These circular desks are pretty cool. I’m also digging the catwalk. It adds to the “evil lair” vibe.
And in the middle of the desk? The hole opens onto the corridor outside the basement lecture theatres. Don’t look down!
2nd Floor Classroom from the First floor. Accessible by futuristic catwalk only.
One of the engineering labs. And class is in progress. I think some of the earlier classes could make for entertaining viewing, especially the intro chemistry labs.
Another shot of a lab, with viewing areas, errm, I mean study space outside. Also I’m feeling a ‘prospectus’ vibe with this pic. Call me!
This picture on the 2nd floor. The lab on the lower floor was in the last photo, to give you some idea of space.
And on top of that classroom… A whole other study space! Open plan, excellent lighting. The whole blows apart the traditional building, making you think “Whoa, there’s people ABOVE and BELOW me!”.
Another library. I guess what you gain in prettiness you lose in privacy.
By the looks of it, once the contractors are finished there will be high ropes too. We’ve been lagging other university libraries for years on that one.
Stealth shot of one of the new “media hubs” (currently locked.)
And group work rooms with a view of be… hey, is that facebook!?!
The University is showing its commitment to good ergonomics with not one but TWO standing desks!