One of the University of Sheffield’s key buildings is to receive a multi-million pound refurbishment, 49 years after it first made world history.
When the building, University House, first opened in 1963 it was the first building in the world to have a glass curtain walled construction. The commercial property in Sheffield has had several updates during the last 49 years, but now it is due for a complete make-over.
Robert Smith was the original architect behind the commercial property’s design in the 60’s. He spent 12 years, from 1950 designing the building and others around it, including the Arts Tower.
Speaking of the original design, Mr Smith stated: “University House was a groundbreaking design. We were pioneers in glass curtain walling and this was one of the very first.
“It offered some of the best views of Sheffield, and still does now. It was designed to be unrestricted and benefited from not needing offices or room dividers so it was much more open than the other University buildings. We wanted to get as much light in as possible.”
The £20 million renovation will bring the building back to its former glory, as the heart of the campus. It will consist of six brand new meeting rooms, new café facilities as well as improved pedestrian access and landscaping. The commercial property will also be much more environmentally friendly, reducing their yearly energy consumption and carbon footprint.
The improved University House will be designed by HLM architects and will continue to bring the original concept of 1963 into the design. The building will be combined with the Students Union for the first time in its history – bringing the facilities all under one roof.
Speaking of combining the buildings, the President of the University Students Union, Thom Arnold, said: “We’re really pleased to be working in partnership with the University to develop this visionary facility.
“Providing an outstanding student experience is something the University and the Students’ Union are fundamentally committed to and this project promises to further this experience by delivering improved services and facilities to students at the heart of the University campus.”
Work on the refurbishment is due to start in July of this year and is due to be completed by September 2013.
Are you a student at the University of Sheffield? Do you think the construction work will affect your studies in the 14 month period?
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