Sheffield University’s diamond facade: A student’s best friend

When designing a building, it is important that architects create a distinctive look that helps the structure stand out. This is certainly the case with a building at the University of Sheffield campus. The Diamond building, which gets its name from its patterned facade, provides students with a modern facility inside and outside. This has created a beneficial addition to the site. Students are drawn to the contemporary building, providing more inspiration for their studies.

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Creating an iconic building

The case of the Diamond building at the University of Sheffield highlights the importance that design has on an educational facility. Universities and other higher education sites are fighting to attract the best students, and this requires an investment in their learning spaces alongside the quality of teaching staff.

The new building in Sheffield is part of the University’s Faculty of Engineering. It houses specialist facilities including laboratories, teaching areas, lecture theatres, study areas and a learning resource centre. The architects have taken one area of study to generate the exterior design, tying the building and students together. The diamond pattern was inspired by a cellular automaton, which is the model that looks at how steel’s microstructure alters when it is processed.

The use of light has also been evaluated in the building’s design. The windows have been positioned precisely to allow natural light into the library and laboratory areas. The size of the windows on the individual sides has been altered to enhance solar shading.

Exterior building solutions

The material used on the exterior of the University of Sheffield building was anodised aluminium. The panel sections were installed onto glass cladding to create the unique design. However, there are a number of materials that can be used to produce distinctive buildings, such as bespoke Tensile Fabric Structures which can be sourced from suppliers like

The use of fabric can transform a building and create a memorable and durable look. It can be incorporated into the design of exterior structures, from large buildings through to smaller canopies and coverings. The flexibility of the material results in endless size and shape possibilities.

Creating a distinctive building that generates interest is all about getting expert help from the initial stages. This will take the design process through to completion and result in a building that meets your design and practical needs.

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