CGI of the £30m Barbara Hepworth Building.
CGI of the £30m Barbara Hepworth Building.
Nick Hill

University of Huddersfield’s new £30m building gets royal seal of approval

The University of Huddersfield has been visited by its Chancellor, HRH The Duke of York, to unveil the foundation stone for the new £30m Barbara Hepworth Building.

The Barbara Hepworth will have six-storeys and 7,500 sq ms of floor space, with the cantilevered floor set to overlook the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.

Due for completion in 2019, the building is being constructed on a Queen Street South site formerly occupied by engineering firm Broadbent.

The design and construction of the Barbara Hepworth Building is being carried out by architects AHR, construction firm Morgan Sindall and structural engineers Tim Stower and Partners.

An architectural feature of the £30m building had captured the imagination of HRH the Duke of York during his unveiling of the foundation stone.

The design includes what His Royal Highness described as a “wonderful cantilever”. In his speech, he joked that he would bring along measuring tools to ensure that its roof was perfectly flat.

The Duke said: “The University of Huddersfield prides itself in its buildings, its care for buildings and the care it has for its students. The Barbara Hepworth Building will be a marvellous addition to the facilities that the University can offer its students.”

The ceremony was introduced by the deputy vice-chancellor of the university, Professor Tim Thornton.

He explained the University of Huddersfield’s policy of naming key buildings after inspirational figures with roots in the region.

He said: “Now we have the opportunity to name a fine new building after a truly great and influential figure who achieved global eminence in the visual arts.”

The sculptor Barbara Hepworth, who lived from 1903 to 1975, spent most of her life and career in London and Cornwall, but she was born in Wakefield and was a product of the educational system and the landscape of the West Riding.

She remained very proud of her Yorkshire roots, said Professor Thornton, who added: “We are equally proud to commemorate her in what will be the latest exceptional and exciting building on our campus and one that will be devoted to the study of art, design and architecture.”

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