The Diamond – University in Sheffield

Object: The Diamond – University of Sheffield
Client: Universität Sheffield, Sheffield
Architect: Twelve Architects, London
General contractor: Balfour Beatty, London
Façade construction: Sipral a.s., Prag
Completion: 2015

Pre-treatment: Etching – with matte effect E6
Process: BWB-Colinal 3145 / Level British Standard (BS 3987)

The six-storey building with a diamond-shaped, anodised aluminium façade was designed by Twelve Architects and appropriately christened "The Diamond" during construction. The new building provides 19,500 m² of floor space for the University of Sheffield's Faculty of Engineering and accommodates roughly 5,000 students. The arrangement and design of the rooms are intended to promote collaboration and interdisciplinary work.

The glass façade is covered by a lattice design composed of bronze-coloured, bent aluminium sheets – referred to as "lattices". The components in the colour BWB-Colinal 3145 are anodised according to British Standard level, which, for example, stipulates a coating thickness of at least 25 µm and the fulfilment of specific requirements. There are between 2 and 12 glass panes on each element. Over 10 thousand individual parts were used for the outer shell. Several mock-ups had to be created, presented and approved before the final result for the shape, appearance and fastening of the complex façade could be achieved. Inside, the diamond-shaped lattice structure continues with 2,707 black lattice elements.

«I am very proud of The Diamond building development. Twelve Architects has worked tirelessly to bring forward what I believe is both a fantastic addition to the University estate and Higher Education as a whole. ...» – Keith Lilley, Direktor für Immobilien und Facility Management an der Universität Sheffield –

Photos: Jack Hobhouse

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