Community 22.06.20

Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre shortlisted for Property Awards

Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre and Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park have been shortlisted in two categories for the 2020 Sheffield City Region Property Awards which recognise and celebrate property developments and contributions to the region over the last 12 months.

Two new award categories have been introduced for this year’s event and Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park has been shortlisted in both – the ‘Outstanding Development of the Year’ for Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) and ‘Design Excellence of the Year’ for HLM Architect’s design of the AWRC.

Richard Caborn, Project Lead for Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, said: “The Park’s legacy objectives are to improve economic opportunities, health and physical activity levels in the local community and the AWRC plays a pivotal part in delivering these.

“We are delighted that the development has been recognised in this way for the unique contribution it is already making, and will continue to make, to the economic and physical health of not only this region, but nationally and internationally.”

The £14m AWRC, which opened in January, is the most advanced research and development centre in the world dedicated to improving population health and physical activity levels.

It forms the centrepiece of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park – where health and wellbeing research, innovation and applied technology is being harnessed to drive the development of transformational economic growth and whole population health gain.

Professor Rob Copeland, Director of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, said: “The AWRC has the ambition to be the leading centre for physical activity research and innovation in the world.

“To achieve this, we will need to harness skills and expertise from across Sheffield Hallam and collaborate with industry, local communities and the public sector to co-produce innovations that help people move.

“The AWRC building is a critical part of that process.  We are absolutely delighted with how well the facility supports our objectives and contributes to creating a vibrant and collaborative environment at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.”

One of the key considerations of the Outstanding Development of the Year Award is the positive impact that each project has on the local area. Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is impacting the local area by delivering a tangible legacy from the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics through the four themes of Sport, Community, Environment and Economic Regeneration.

The AWRC is building relationships with the local community including Darnall Well Being who work within the community to support healthy lifestyles and manage long term health conditions. These connections will allow the AWRC to carry out collaborative research and impact a cross section of the population who will benefit from new and innovative ways to improve health and prevent and treat chronic disease.

HLM Architects’ design embraced the AWRC’s ethos and developed a design with movement, health and wellbeing as central themes. For example, the feature staircase encourages stair use over lift use, and the extensive cycle store and cycle maintenance area promote active and sustainable travel.

The five-storey, 3,800 m2 building houses state-of-the-art, fully equipped laboratories including a 3D movement analysis lab, 3D morphology scanning lab, rapid prototyping and makerspace, human movement and performance lab and an emerging technologies hub.

The AWRC required spaces to be as adaptable and flexible as possible to accommodate future changes in use and HLM addressed this in the design in a number of ways including demountable partitions, low level, perimeter fed power and data, and suspended floors.

Each area has been specifically curated to consider the wellbeing of visitors, staff and students – using colour, shapes and outdoor spaces that are known to enhance positivity and calmness. The building has been designed to be as sustainable as possible and includes carefully sourced materials.

HLM Architects Studio Lead, Delia Harmston, said: “The investment and support in this outstanding new facility shows a mark of confidence in Sheffield’s ability to seek research-led solutions for societal challenges.

“As a striking building in Attercliffe, an area that is long overdue attention, the AWRC provides a new beacon of opportunity. It offers its local communities a window to healthier, more active lives and also provides an attractive statement of regeneration and positive development.  We look forward to being part of the ongoing story about the AWRC’s impact on communities.”

The SCR Property Awards Dinner, a highlight in the property industry calendar, celebrates major achievements across the region’s property sector. This year’s event, which usually takes place in July, has been moved to Wednesday 9 September and will be held at Sheffield City Hall.