The Adsetts Learning Centre forms the heart of the Sheffield Hallam University campus. It has 500,000 books, and 1,300 study places. It is universally liked by students and almost always full, however it is now over 15 years old and shows all the signs of a popular building in need of major refurbishment.
In 2009, AMA won a competition to help the university not only to upgrade the facilities but also to rethink how the learning centre was working and develop ideas for how their ‘offer’ to the students could be improved and updated in the future. Our work consisted of a design review and architectural services.
AMA’s review proposed many more group-working and informal areas, to be supplemented by a number of presentation rooms, which are a critical part of training for the outside world. Improvements to light levels and the whole perception of light in the space were central to our scheme, combined with our attention to views across spaces and the addition of small highlights of colour and artwork.
This is a phased project and the most important aspect, the entrance floor, will be completed shortly. The complicated construction process will be implemented in a facility that is open 24 hours a day (every day excepting Christmas). The entire building is due to be fully refurbished over the next 3-4 years.
Photographs © 2012 Richard Bryant