Where design and technology come to life

Staffordshire University "transforms potential into powerful connections and builds a digital world for future generations". This mission was instrumental within our project to re-imagine the Mellor Building as The Smart Zone; the University's centre for invention and creation.

Alongside Mace Ltd and Clancy Consulting and working with Staffordshire University's design team, we created The Smart Zone over an 18-week summer period.

The Smart Zone is now the home of leading-edge equipment and speciality facilities and forms a highly visible and exciting gateway to innovation at the University. In true Staffordshire collaborative style, these unique and interactive workshop spaces are available for all students, staff and partners to bring their ideas to life.

Glazed internal screens and full height windows create open views into the ground floor for onlookers to witness the vibrant inventors' drop-in workspace. We installed technical workbenches and stations with specialist equipment and extendable overhead lighting to maximise user productivity in the light manufacturing workzone.

Taking a break from study, students and visitors can now share conversations and coffee in the comfortable breakout areas.

Mixing virtual and actual reality

Stepping into the 'Immersive Lounge' today is a world away from the cellular spaces that we stripped out from the first floor. The resulting bright open-plan area provides individual and group study space and a high-spec computer room with folding walls.

Our three virtual reality suites deliver specialist environments for transporting objects and people into artificially simulated worlds. A highly equipped green room, a black room and a static object motion capture suite comprise the sophisticated development space.

All mechanical and electrical elements of the project required advanced solutions to enhance user experience and safety. These were delivered in the form of roof power layout, data points, fire alarms and security, ventilation, drainage and LED lighting.

The floor and ceiling finishes were installed to balance acoustic demands, functionality and aesthetics.

Live activities continued within the buildings throughout the project and our team scored highly within the Considerate Contractors scheme. We completed the works in time for the start of the new academic year.

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