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BDP’s Sheffield skyscraper scrapped as campus plans evolve

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Sheffield Hallam University has scrapped plans for a 37-storey tower opposite the city’s railway station while appointing BDP to deliver a £220 million campus upgrade

The university revealed that a profit-sharing consortium of contractor BAM, facilities manager CBRE and architects BDP and Arup would take forward the first phase of its 15-year estate enhancement plan.

Manchester-based BDP published the masterplan for the transformation of Sheffield Hallam University back in 2018.

Shortly afterwards the practice revealed proposals for the city’s tallest tower, which was proudly displayed at the MIPIM property fair in Cannes that year.

However, a spokeswoman for the university this week confirmed that the skyscraper – which would have featured 200 homes, a hotel, conferencing facilities, bars and restaurants – was no longer in the plans.

‘We had hoped an external developer would build something on this plot but that is not currently feasible and has been taken off the table,’ she told the AJ.

Daniel Ladbury, director of estates and facilities at Sheffield Hallam, said the university remained keen to create a ’gateway’ building on the site.

’We tried hard to bring something forward but it was too tricky and current market conditions mean it is not the most important priority,’ he said. ‘It will be a different development, smaller, but still something that creates a gateway.’

The £220 million first phase of BDP’s masterplan will see creation of new buildings and green spaces between Sheffield Station and Arundel Gate. This includes new teaching facilities and staff workplaces for the university’s business school and social sciences department as well as formation of green spaces.

Work will get under way this month with renovations to the atrium of the Owen Building.

Consortium partners will work collaboratively through all stages of design, construction and operation, according to the university.

In an attempt to create a clear governance structure, the alliance will operate with formal co-operative boards requiring unanimous agreement.

Ladbury said: ‘The Hallam Alliance provides a unique opportunity as we look to the future in these challenging times to create a high-performing and efficient estate that provides fantastic places for students, staff and visitors to learn, collaborate, and innovate while enabling us to continually learn and improve.’

BDP architect principal Sue Emms added: ‘This project has the ability to transform how the university operates and, as pioneers of new ways of procuring buildings, transform the way the construction industry operates.

‘The alliance approach will encourage a shared ethos of partnership, collaboration and innovation to bring about more effective and efficient developments. It will produce a unique environment for applied learning and research, adding value to create better, sustainable and efficient buildings.’

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