28 September 2022

Twelve Architects and BVN Architecture appointed for new Central Teaching Laboratory

The two architecture firms, who put forward a joint submission, have been selected to design a new super-lab teaching building.

logos of 12 and BVN architect firms and the University logo

We have appointed a team led by Twelve Architects and BVN to design and deliver a new Central Teaching Laboratory (CTL) building for the Faculty of Science. The new centre will mark a significant change for how science is taught here at Sheffield, with the vast majority of laboratory teaching to take place across one building, consolidating expertise and promoting collaboration. It will build on our existing reputation for excellence, having produced six Nobel Prize winners to date.

The winning design has been chosen for its student-first model, that proposes a series of super-labs alongside including space specifically designed for students and staff to interact, collaborate and learn. Green spaces and biophilic design will feature throughout the building, which will also use renewable energy sources in both build and operation. Sustainable, collaborative and inspiring, the new laboratory will support excellence and wellbeing for all who work there.

Lorraine Stoutt Griffith, director at Twelve Architects, said: “Our concept for CTL emphasises a student-first model that has already been a great success at The Diamond and the Thomas Street Science Building, UTS. The design we’ve proposed, in collaboration with BVN, will support the University’s ambition to be a world leader in the teaching of science and related subjects. We’ve paid particular attention to the arrangement of the different types of space within the building to ensure that all types of teaching and learning are enabled.”

Matthew Blair, principal at BVN, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Twelve Architects and the University of Sheffield to create a new kind of lab experience for students and academics. We look forward to creating an experience that will appeal to students from across the world. For us, innovation comes from thinking about something differently, listening to the opinions of others and questioning the status quo. Using these principles, we can create an environment where people feel a sense of belonging and connection, where students and researchers can collaborate, and perhaps even where the next Nobel Prize winners will emerge,”

The team has commenced the briefing and design stages, with consultation on the plans beginning in September.


About the Architects

Twelve Architects

Twelve Architects is an international architectural practice. We are recognised for creating distinctive and memorable designs for projects across a range of sectors globally. Our projects are defined by stories and based on the principles of simplicity, attention to detail and intelligent use of materials. Our designs are defined by context and culture and are styled by function. We question what is black and white to inspire the unexpected.

Our philosophy is employed at every level, to enable our employees, fellow consultants, and clients to collaborate and utilise their individual expertise to enhance the full potential of a project and to deliver a shared vision.

Our portfolio includes a series of projects for The University of Sheffield, including The Diamond, a world class facility, housing 21 specialist engineering laboratories, lecture theatres, large scale flexible teaching spaces, workshops, a learning resource centre, and integrated formal and informal study environments for up to 5,000 students. As well as providing a home for many of the University’s Engineering undergraduates, The Diamond is also a 24/7 facility for a range of other departments, promoting collaboration and interdisciplinary working in an environment fit for 21st century research and practice.

BVN Architecture

BVN is a creative collective of architects, designers, researchers and makers. We’re Australian at heart, with international studios and a global outlook. We challenge expectations of architecture and design, continually innovating and reimagining the way we work. We’re united by a challenge we make of ourselves everyday: to be smarter, more creative, and better for the planet.

With a 90+ year history and an international reputation for design leadership and innovation, BVN is constantly evolving to suit contemporary needs and expectations. As a practice we take a collaborative, collegiate approach amongst the team which extends to clients, users and project teams.

Our architectural engagement ranges from civic and institutional projects to office and residential design, tourism projects, industrial developments, master planning and urban design. The practice has a powerful pool of eclectic talent and a strong studio culture.