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Forgotten Spaces Sheffield 2011: Shortlist – Department of Fabrication, Media and Robotics by Steven McCloy and Bongani Muchemwa

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The derelict yet beautiful Old Post Office is retrofitted with a huge, high-tech atrium canopy, which provides a central public space to the department

The Department of Fabrication, Media and Robotics is a new building typology that embraces the large site to provide extensive resources to small businesses, students and artists.

Small studios and offices can be hired within a buzzing community of entrepreneurs; the department provides access to facilities and an impressive city centre location.

A large proportion of the facility is concerned with digital fabrication and product development; the opportunity for artists, designers and media companies to produce their own prototypes outside of traditional contracts will provide a huge boost to upcoming businesses.

The department endeavours to attract the attention of prominent figures in the emerging industry; and the development includes conference rooms and a large lecture theatre, it will also provide jobs and apprenticeships. At the foot is a public plaza which is fronted with retail units, reserved for businesses within the department.

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