Unveiling the Sheffield UTC building designs

Last month we announced the selection of Wates Construction as the contractor that will build the new University Technical College on the Porterbrook site. Wates’ proposed scheme for the site is currently going through the building planning application process but we are able to share some of their designs with you while the application is progressing.

“Bright, modern and flexible”

Wates Construction

Wates Construction, working with Lucy Plumridge from HLM Architects, developed a design that is “bright, modern and flexible whilst incorporating the character and integrity of the Sydney Works.” In developing their designs they took on board views from various stakeholders during the engagement process, including members of the Sheffield UTC Academy Trust, representatives from Sheffield City Council, neighbouring businesses within the Cultural Industries Quarter and specific sessions to listen to the views of young people from within the Sheffield City Region.

Feedback from the Young People’s engagement sessions gave strong indications of what students wanted from the UTC site development and the plans Wates Construction proposed reflect their views:

  • a building that is open and flexible
  • a simple layout
  • external space for sports activities
  •  space for individual and group learning

 In developing their designs, Watts Construction worked closely with the Sustainable Design Panel and the Planning and Highways teams, and have been keen to ensure that the new building will remain representative of Sheffield’s industrial past and be implemented in a safe, careful manner.

“We have designed a scheme that responds to the industrial heritage of Sheffield”

Lucy Plumridge, HLM Architects

Lucy Plumridge (Lead Architect, HLM Architects) explains the underlying approach of their final designs:“We have designed a scheme that responds to the industrial heritage of Sheffield, to create a modern Technical College that will inspire students and showcase their work. Our solution carefully integrates the retained and new buildings whilst maximising internal flexibility and external social areas. This optimises the use of the site and creates an environment that is welcoming, spacious, exciting and adaptable to respond to the future needs of the College. We will not only provide high quality learning environments but added value through elements such as the basement units, enhanced external areas and social suites on the top floor. These will provide unique facilities to attract students and business partners to assist in the UTC’s growth. The UTC will provide a unique opportunity for students in the city and [we] look forward to working with you to take the scheme to completion in the coming year.”

© Wates Construction Limited 2012

The proposed designs for the Sheffield UTC site will go in front of Sheffield City Council’s planning committee on 15 August and, if approved, work on site will begin in early September, with completion and handover of the building in early August 2013.

Neighbouring businesses and residents, and prospective students and their parents, will all be kept in touch with progress as the building develops and there will be opportunities to view the construction in progress and visit parts of the site as they are completed. If you would like to register your interest in attending as a student or want information on how your company could work with the UTC, or if you simply want to be kept up-to-date with progress, then please contact us via email: info@sheffieldutc.co.uk

All images used with the permission of Wates Construction Limited who retain copyright.

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