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HE Design

17 Oct 2023
Design, Construction & Delivery Stage
Transformational Estates
Karl Brown, HLM & Laura Armitage, University of Sheffield

One of the key challenges that Universities face is planning for future development in an education environment that is constantly evolving and student numbers that are hard to predict. How can estates teams develop plans that support new pedagogies of learning, meet zero carbon aspirations and yet are flexible enough to cope with the unknown like hybrid working and new learning patterns resulting from Covid ?

Over the last few years, the University of Sheffield have commissioned a number of Estate Development Frameworks to consider how departments and faculties can work together to improve efficiency and identities, creating more opportunity for interdisciplinary working and research. Alongside this they also wanted to address future growth targets, enhance the student experience, and improve space utilisation and flexibility.

To illustrate this Laura Armitage from the University of Sheffield Social Sciences Faculty, supported by Karl Brown from HLM Architects, will talk about how the faculty development framework evolved and the new social sciences hub which sits at its heart. The building was redesigned to respond to changing user needs identified using bespoke stakeholder engagement software. The presentation will share data from this user engagement tool showing what are student/staff priorities and aspirations for their learning environments and how this has impacted on the design of the building.

A place to belong: New forms of engagement and third spaces for students
Jon Roylance and Amy Brazenall, ADP

ADP’s higher education ‘Third Space’ concept and the new Student Centre at the University York showcase new thinking in how designers engage with a diverse campus community to both optimise briefing and design outcomes, and through a digital world, can support student experience and visitor management.

Third Spaces are essentially new typologies of social learning and workplaces across university campuses. Our presentation showcases the nature of those activity-based space typologies and explains how those spaces developed in a virtual world are assisting us in engaging with campus communities, reflecting new ways of sharing ideas and receiving feedback.

These ideas are now being incorporated into new projects such as the University of York new student centre. Our presentation will briefly touch on how the 3D model of the new centre has showcased those features as part of the engagement process.


Trevor Wills, Director of Estates & Facilities - University of Plymouth
Karl Brown, Associate - HLM Architects
Laura Armitage, Faculty Estates & Infrastructure Manager - Faculty of Social Sciences - University of Sheffield
Jon Roylance, Higher Education Sector Director - ADP
Amy Brazenall, Regional Higher Education Director - ADP



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