Client: The University of Sheffield/AMRC

Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre 
Apprentice Training Centre, Sheffield City Region

Architects: Bond Bryan Architects 
Bond Bryan Director: Darren Southgate 
Project Managers: Turner & Townsend
Services Engineers: Silcock Leedham
Civil/Structural Engineers: Eastwood & Partners

Contractor: Willmott Dixon 
Construction Value: £8.6 million 
Completion Date: 2013
Gross Internal Floor Area: 6,500 square metres 
BREEAM Sustainability Rating: Very Good

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Another first for the University of Sheffield and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre: a new training facility for apprentices from 16 years old, to long serving professionals wanting to top-up their skills. 

Over the last ten years the AMRC program has identified gaps in the UK manufacturing sector’s assets and filled them with expertise; the resulting step-changes in performance are making UK PLC a cost-effective world leader in Advanced Manufacturing.  Following the commissioning of a number of research centres designed by Bond Bryan, this process is increasingly successful; but there is another emerging problem.

During the latter half of the twentieth century, as the service industries boomed in popularity, engineering apprentice training became less available in the UK.  A significant shortage of young people coming into manufacturing industries will inevitably cause major skills shortages; therefore the renaissance in Advanced Manufacturing may not be maintained.  The AMRC team has now developed the new Apprentice Training Centre sponsored by industry.

Providing for 16 to 70 year olds, this Centre provides apprentice training, further and higher education qualifications as well as continued professional development courses.

Designed for both theoretical and practical learning, a bright classroom/seminar-based block clad in polycarbonate and glass adjoins a dark-clad north-lit workshop: the latter pays homage to Sheffield’s historic steel-making architectural vernacular.

The Training Centre has become known as the ‘Ice Cube’ because of the iridescent, ever-changing polycarbonate skin.  A three-storey atrium allows access at the ground and lower-ground levels into key facilities.  Large windows flood the atrium space with light and whilst bridges wait in readiness for a future phase.

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