Factory 2050

Factory 2050

Architect
Bond Bryan Architects
Location
United Kingdom
Project Year
2015
Category
Factories
Stories By
Bond Bryan Architects

Solus Ceramics

Factory 2050

Bond Bryan Architects as Architects

Factory 2050, also dubbed the reconfigurable factory, reached its completion this month. Around half a mile from the Advanced Manufacturing Park, Factory 2050 is the first project on the planned 50 acre University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Campus 2 at Sheffield Business Park, and will be the UK’s first fully reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility for collaborative research, capable of rapidly switching production between different high-value components and one-off parts.


Bond Bryan Architects have long become industry experts in designing and delivering Advanced Manufacturing Research Centres nationally, so when the firm won this project in summer 2013 the brief and dream was to design a circular factory; a concept first created for the AMRC in 2005, but not achievable at that time due to budget and programme restraints.


Bond Bryan proved that re-configurability and flexibility do not need to rely on traditional building form and layout. This project creatively demonstrates how form is no longer an inhibitor to functionality of an advanced manufacturing environment. Principal designer and Director at Bond Bryan, Darren Southgate commented: ”This is a special moment for me personally seeing a visionary building developed in my mind’s eye over ten years now become a reality. The idea of linking the core visually, without walls and being part of the ‘workspace donut’ were always leading design principles. It is a human need to be associated or close to activities that link thinking and doing; the days of disappearing into cellular offices away from the production environment have been replaced by hands on doing and reporting; them and us is no longer. The need for quiet space hasn’t gone but it is shared through multifunctional collaborative spaces.” With its fully glazed elevations and circular plan the building features a core of open plan working, meeting rooms, lifts and stairs at its heart. Clever design elements include single staircase access from the core accommodation with under-workshop floor tunnel egress, removing the need for an awkward second staircase and providing 100% uninterrupted research floor space. The mechanical and electrical installation is centralised in the core with perimeter-trenched services to get vital air, water, power and data to machines. Carefully co-ordinated services around the building and mostly hidden from view under covers, mean the space will feel uncluttered, a design prerequisite. The 360 degree, eight metre high glazed external elevation is free spanning from ground to roof using a Schuco steel curtain walling system. Using 3m by 1m glazed modules the façade develops a module predominately with a horizontal quality. The brise soleil around the top one third of the glazing to reduce high-level glare and overheating; a system of circular profiles run perfectly around the perimeter supported off the curtain walling. Out board of the main façade is a unique ‘V’ system of circular tubes to brace the principle structure in a very expressionistic way. Andrew Fallon, Head of Estates Development at the University of Sheffield, said of Bond Bryan Architects, “I was very impressed with their emphasis on aesthetics as well as sustainability with a design which meets the project brief but which also, in the spirit of excellence, exceeds my expectations.”


Factory 2050

Solus Ceramics as Suppliers

Ceramics were used throughout this industrial building to provide a contemporary look that contrasts against the industrial metallics used elsewhere in the building. The large format ceramic tiles visually complement an impressive, large-scale open plan workshop spaces so the floor does not become lost and trivial within the space.


The tiles were cut using a waterjet technique, cut radially to follow the shape of the building. This process was undertaken in a factory using a cutting company in liaison with Solus Ceramics. The process was necessary to ensure accuracy and consistency, and also to reduce site waste and installation time. The slight tonal differences between the different tiles add visual interest. More from the Manufacturer: Leading tile supplier, Solus Ceramics helped engineer the designof the state-of-the-art manufacturing research facility, Factory 2050 with the installation of bespoke cut tiles from three striking tile ranges.


Factory 2050 is the future of the UK’s engineering industry, as the first reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility for collaborative research in the UK, capable of rapidly switching production between high-value components and one-off parts. The building provides a home in Sheffield to up to 70 staff focused on the research and demonstration work associated with making the next generation of aircraft and energy technologies.


Bond Bryan Architects designed the innovative the 6,700 square metre, revolutionary glass-walled, circular factory, at the heart of the University of Sheffield’s new advanced manufacturing campus on Sheffield Business Park.


Challenging the stereotypical, rectilinear architectural solution to industrial buildings, the striking design of the steel-framed circular glass building was designed to act as an international example for automated production facilities for the 21st century. The circular form was selected to enable an almost infinite production sequence to enhance rapid manufacturing techniques and expose the manufacturing activity within, to the outside.


With the client wanting to create a light and refreshing finish with statement accents, large format (1500 x 700mm) tiles fromSolus Ceramics’ Replicate rangewereinstalled in the central rotunda, breakout spaces and perimeter circular walkways, in two contrasting shades to give a subtle yet striking effect. In addition,Solus Ceramics also supplied tiles from its Stonework and Modular ranges to the bathroom facilities throughout the building.


The concrete-inspired floor and wall tiles of the Replicate range embodies a modern industrial aesthetic, fitting seamlessly into the surroundings of Factory 2050. Influenced by urban architectural trends and industrial landscapes, Replicate features nine contemporary colours including raw greys and rustic browns. Each tile is unique providing a sense of natural individuality to any surface.


The range reflects the patterns, colours and irregularities that appear in polished concrete and displays charming variations. Some of the tiles have also been designed to evoke oxidized metal, presenting a chic rusted finish.


Perfect for creating a contemporary but distressed design, Replicate can be used to create flowing uninterrupted spaces, inside and out. The range is available in plank shaped ‘floorboard’ style pieces that can create an interesting and eye-catching finish, in addition to large format options aside from a whole host of more standard rectangle and square sizes.


In contrast, the Modular range, used throughout the bathroom facilities, boasts a colourful array of wall tiles, from rich cherry reds to paler shades of coral and mauve, that can help create both beautiful classic designs and contemporary chic.


The Stonework range provides a rustic stone appearance, offering an accurate tonal shade. The porcelain tiles are the perfect alternative to natural stone as not only do they replicate the look and feel of the material, but also possess the quality, strength, durability, resistance and lifetime guarantee of porcelain.


Jon Rigby, Associate at Bond Bryan Architects, said of the project: “A key requirement of the client’s brief was to create a true open-plan, well-lit and highly connected working environment and to challenge the literal and symbolic separation that typically occurs between office and production areas.


“We selected the Replicate range from Solus Ceramics’ Essential Collection throughout the building to provide a contemporary, robust aesthetic, using the tones and textures of concrete to contrast visually against the industrial metallics used elsewhere within the building fabric. The large format tiles allowed us to visually complement the impressive, large-scale open plan workshop spaces, so that the floor did not become lost and trivial within the space.


“The tiles were cut using a waterjet technique, cut radially to follow the shape of the building, this process was undertaken in a factory using a cutting company in liaison with ourselves and Solus Ceramics. This process was necessary to ensure accuracy and consistency, and also to reduce site waste and installation time. The outcome is spectacular and the slight tonal difference selected from the range between the circulation and activity areas is fantastic.


“We specified Solus Ceramics because of the guaranteed level of quality we could expect, particularly in terms of the product range, choice and value, but also in the service provided. Both the client and ourselves are delighted with the outcome and effect the tiles give.”


David Overton, Business Development Managerat Solus Ceramics, said: “As a company, we’re always excited to work with people who push the boundaries and Bond Bryan Architects have done just this, with a refreshing approach to this development. Factory 2050 has been a fantastic project to work on with such a revolutionary design, setting itself apart from any other manufacturing facility in the country.


“The Replicate range is elegantly subtle, and gives stand out results when applied in such context like Factory 2050, the impact this tile choice has given tothe finish of this facility is one of a kind.”

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