University of Sheffield’s Engineering Heartspace shortlisted in prestigious awards

The exterior of the University's Engineering Heartspace

The University of Sheffield’s new Engineering Heartspace has been shortlisted for two prestigious awards.

Opened to staff and students in late January, the state-of-the-art development houses teaching and social spaces under a new, impressive curved glass roof which links the Grade II listed Sir Frederick Mappin Building and the 1885 Central Wing.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Social Impact Awards 2020 Yorkshire & Humber have shortlisted the Engineering Heartspace in both its ‘heritage’ and ‘education’ categories, which recognise the positive and transformational contribution to society that the built environment can make.

Alongside the new laboratories, office space and café, the Engineering Heartspace has its own Employability Hub which is committed to helping students and businesses collaborate, as well as bringing ‘real world experience’ to the forefront of student experience in the University’s Faculty of Engineering.

Great care has been taken with the refurbishment and roof addition, with the performance of the building also a priority. A ‘repair rather than replace’ approach has been successful, for example, where sash windows have been sympathetically upgraded to improve thermal performance. The roof’s columns are positioned to prevent load being transferred to the historic buildings which flank the space.

A view overlooking the inside of the Engineering Heartspace

Keith Lilley, Director of Infrastructure at the University of Sheffield, said: "We're delighted to be recognised by RICS for our work on the Engineering Heartspace. This scheme combines the refurbishment of two of the most loved and longest serving buildings within the University, the Central Wing and the historic Sir Frederick Mappin building, dating from 1886.

“This Grade II listed building, together with the Central Wing and new elements within the former courtyard, have been transformed through refurbishment, extension, and modernisation. Services to the building have created a world-class teaching and research space for staff and students at the University.

“This group of buildings were part of the original estate when the University was formed in 1905 and have seen many thousands of graduates study and work within their walls. The transformation helps to underpin the excellence of our Faculty of Engineering and will provide the kind of world-class facilities that our staff and students deserve. We are delighted with the results and look forward to working within these facilities for decades to come.”

Professor Mike Hounslow, Vice-President and Head of the University’s Faculty of Engineering, said: "The Engineering Heartspace is a high-quality social and collaborative space, created by transforming the derelict area between the two oldest buildings on the University’s estate. Through the careful renovation and refurbishment of the Sir Frederick Mappin Building and the Central Wing, we have vastly improved the functionality of the two buildings, whilst staying true to their heritage and character.

"These two buildings, together with the Engineering Heartspace, now meet the needs of 21st century learning, teaching and research with improved efficiency, both environmentally and in terms of office, laboratory, social and student study spaces."

The winner of each regional category will be announced in June – winners go on to a grand final in September.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information please contact:

Sean Barton
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9852