HRH The Duke of York unveiling the foundation stone for the new Barbara Hepworth Building HRH The Duke of York unveils the foundation stone - architect drawings of the completed building can viewed below

The University’s Chancellor, HRH The Duke of York, unveils the foundation stone for the new Barbara Hepworth Building

A DRAMATIC architectural feature of the University of Huddersfield’s latest construction project has captured the imagination of its Chancellor, HRH the Duke of York.

On his latest visit to the University, The Duke unveiled the foundation stone of the £30 million Barbara Hepworth Building, due for completion in 2019.  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 University of Huddersfield prides itself in its buildings, its care for buildings and the care it has for its students,” said The Duke.  “The Barbara Hepworth Building will be a marvellous addition to the facilities that the University can offer its students,” he added.

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.

“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 very much a product of the educational system and the landscape of the West Riding.  She remained very proud of her Yorkshire roots, said Professor Thornton.

“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.”

Responsible for designing and constructing the Barbara Hepworth Building are architects AHR, construction firm Morgan Sindall and structural engineers Tim Stower and Partners.  This is the same team that built the University of Huddersfield’s dramatic Oastler Building, opened in 2017.

The Barbara Hepworth will have six-storeys and 7,500 square metres of floor space.  The cantilevered floor will overlook the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.  The building is being constructed on a Queen Street South site formerly occupied by engineering firm Broadbent.

“The distinctive element is that the new building fits the landscape as it cascades down towards the canal, making full use of the site by following its contours,” said Tim Hosker, the University’s Assistant Director of Estates and Facilities.

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