CAMBRIDGE ARCHITECTURE Cambridge Association of Architects Gazette
SPRING/SUMMER 2016 CAMBRIDGE ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTS GAZETTE
CONTENTS _4 NEWS
_7 TEAMWORK The focus for this issue – why teamwork is important and what makes it work
_ 10 TIMBER! Why wood offers a quick and simple solution
_ 14 ON THE WAY – FROM MILTON ROAD TO OUR CITY STREETS Can this traffic artery be both beautiful and functional?
_ 16 SPHERE OF INFLUENCE The results of our survey of Cambridgeshire’s chartered practices are in
_ 18 RAISING THE STANDARDS The new national standards for new homes offer more space to swing a cat
_ 21 SHAPING PLACES FOR OPEN INNOVATION Reﬂecting on the Academy of Urbanism event
Cover photo: Cowan Court, Churchill College © 6a Architects
A BRAVE NEW WORLD Examining local authorities’ roles in creating a brave new Cambridge
_ 24 EDUCATING ARCHITECTS CAA Education Outreach representative Ann Bassett discusses the importance of education
_ 26 CAMBRIDGE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION AWARDS The teams behind the shortlisted entries
_ 30 WHAT ARE WE WORKING ON? An overview of members’ current projects
_ 31 SPONSOR INTERVIEW
Cambridge Architecture has focused in recent years on different building sectors, ambition, and the success that Cambridge is demonstrating as it continues to grow and develop. This edition examines an aspect fundamental to growth: teamwork. From the broadest policies to the smallest individual projects, multi-disciplinary design teams are the lynchpin of successful architecture. We examine what makes a successful construction team and how it can make best use of its creativity, technology, and diverse skills to enable the construction industry to work together to ensure that the built environment of Cambridge will be one to be proud of. Among our articles in this edition, Stephanie Norris of Purcell UK looks at the successful collaboration that made the recently completed Papworth Everard Village Hall possible; 6a Architects and Freeland Rees Roberts take us on guided tours of two new buildings constructed with cross-laminated timber where speed and cooperation are key; Kieran Perkins of 5th Studio ups the scale and examines the City Deal; and we devote an article to the recently announced winners of the CFCI awards, featuring eight projects across the spectrum of the local construction industry.
This issue, we speak with Adrian Nicholas, Director at bb+c architects ltd
– The Editors CAMBRIDGE ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTS GAZETTE | 3
SPONSORS AC Architects Cambridge Ltd Anthony Cooper Barber Casanovas Ruffles Ltd bb+c architects ltd Bremner Partnership LLP CFCI Chadwick Dryer Clarke Studio Cowper Griffith Architects LLP DPA Architects George Davidson Architect Gleeds Cost Management Ltd Goose Architects Ltd Graham Handley Architects Ltd Harvey Norman Architects John Honer Leon Waldock RIBA M Reynolds RIBA marek sekowski architect Mart Barrass Architect Ltd Mirjana Stojanovic-Rathmell Mole Architects mosescameronwilliams architects N J Twitchett Peter Brett Associates LLP Peter Rawlings Architects Ltd Project 5 Architecture r h partnership architects ltd Rob Howard MA RIBA Saunders Boston studio24 architects LLP Tristan Rees-Roberts
CAMBRIDGE ARCHITECTURE GAZETTE Cambridge Architecture Gazette is a review produced by the Cambridge Association of Architects, the local chapter of the Royal Institute of British Architects. The views in this magazine are those of individual contributors (named and unnamed), and not of the Association. ISSN 1361-3375 Any comments or for a copy of magazine, contact firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORS David Adams, Tom Foggin, Ze’ev Feigis. ADVERTISEMENT SALES Marie Luise CritchleyWaring (email@example.com) Published by Bright Publishing. www.bright-publishing.com
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Cambridge Association of Architects Gazette News Chemistry of Health © R H Partnership Architects. Image by eye-kon visual creation studio.
RHP WINS CONSENT
FOR CHEMISTRY OF HEALTH BUILDING R H Partnership has won planning consent for the Chemistry of Health, a new high- priority building for the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. The £22 million development is scheduled to commence in 2016 and complete by 2017, and will focus on the study of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinsons and Alzheimers, among others.
NEW ART GALLERY BY CARUSO ST JOHN OPENS TO THE PUBLIC The Heong Gallery for Downing College opened on 6 February. Designed by Caruso St John Architects and dedicated to modern and contemporary art, it transforms a maintenance building and creates a new public space from a former service yard. Inspired in part by Kettles Yard in Cambridge, the new wing utilises a simple palette of stone, concrete and oak.
© Caruso St John
PUBLIC EXHIBITION FOR CAMBRIDGE UNION SOCIETY & TRINITY COLLEGE On 5 February, the Cambridge Union Society and Trinity College held a public exhibition for the proposals for the Cambridge Union Society buildings between Round Church Street and Park Street. Whilst not heavily attended, the exhibition was very well presented, and the design team were on hand to answer questions, prior to the submission of the planning application.
Proposed CB1 Station Road development © Grimshaw Architects
© Richard Marsham
RIBA EAST 2I2D5E RIBA East held the annual Regional and Special Awards 2016 in St Johns College Cambridge on the 14th April. With a record 25 shortlisted entries, the evening was introduced by David Adams, chair of the CAA, and was presented by Alan Vallance, interim Chief Executive of the RIBA, and Peter Williams, of Moses Cameron Williams Architects.
WING DEVELOPMENT MOVES FORWARD BUT WITH FEW AFFORDABLE HOUSES The WING development, a mixed use scheme on land owned by the Marshall group of companies north of Newmarket Road in Cambridge, has submitted a planning addendum that has reduced its Affordable Housing commitment from 40% to 30%. This move has invited further criticism about the availability of affordable housing in Cambridge.
ͻ EF2F;A@ ROAD ACHIEVES PLANNING CONSENT 50-60 Station Road, the Grimshaw-designed office blocks that will replace Wilton Terrace as part of the CB1 development, has been granted Planning Consent. The seven- and eight- storey mixed use buildings are scheduled to be commenced imminently.
CFCI AWARDS 2015 The winners of the annual Cambridge Design and Construction Awards have been announced. The awards had a large number of entrants in two categories, further demonstrating the signiﬁcance of Cambridge developments. The full shortlist, and winners, are detailed on page 26.
ZAHA HADID DIES OF HEART ATTACK IN MIAMI Zaha Hadid, visionary architect and ﬁrst female recipient of both the RIBA Royal Gold Medal and the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and twice winner of the Stirling Prize, died suddenly in Miami, USA, on 31 March 2016. In her lifetime, she was arguably one of the major design forces of the late 20th century, and is a huge loss to the profession.
UPCOMING EVENTS RIBA EAST
Seminar on New RIBA Contracts and changes to JCT Contracts. Thursday 12 May, 2pm. Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. Contact RIBA East for more details.
ARM: DEVELOPMENT OF NEW CAMBRIDGE HQ Monday 16 May, 6.30pm. Auditorium, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Contact the CFCI for more details.
CRUK ADDENBROOKES DEVELOPMENT PRESENTATION Monday 6 June, 6.30pm. Auditorium, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Contact the CFCI for more details.
CAMBRIDGE ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTS GAZETTE | 5
CA71 puts the nature of teamwork into the spotlight. Design teams are, for better or worse, a group of people thrown together to collectively make something. David Adams looks at the variation of teams and introduces our series of ‘Teamwork’ articles WORDS DAVID ADAMS
Teamwork is deﬁned by the Oxford English Dictionary as a mass noun: “The combined effective action of a group”. Teams in construction projects vary greatly: the design team for a small project could be as simple as the architect and the client. The client is often the ﬁnal arbiter, deﬁning what they are willing to pay for and to see built. Teams for larger projects can number in the tens, and very large infrastructure projects (such as Crossrail or High Speed Two) could number in the hundreds. Teamwork separates a project into specialisms, each focusing on one element, but part of a whole. A typical large project, of, say, £20–50 million in construction cost, could include well over a dozen separate consultant companies, including everything from Acoustics to Landscaping. The greater the technical
challenges of the project, the greater the likelihood of a specialist being involved. Traditionally, the architect is the generalist – the party who is expected to know a bit alist about everything and to translate the specialist knowledge into understandable language. But, of course, design teams are not purely ly ht designers: the Local Authority can be thought of as part of the team (though often they are seen as an impediment). The systems and processes the design team are able to utilisee (such as the local Design and Conservation Panel) can give a much-needed fresh perspective, questioning aspects of projectss to ensure they deliver on their initial promises.. At the outer edge of teamwork, one ﬁnds ideas like the City Deal: large, infrastructure-led projects, the impact of which will be felt for generations to come. The decisions that are
Successful Su ccess e design teams are deﬁned by an ability to listen and take on boar board others’ points of view, to be prepared to be ﬂexible, and to sometimes blur or cross lines of responsibility to produce the best end result. A sense of humour also helps! Stephanie Norris, Associate Partner, Purcell
Remem Remember R Rem ember three key words... w Stop: St op: th think about the materiality of your creation; Collaborate: seek out the experts; Listen: immerse erse yourself elf in their knowledge kn Andrew Drummond, Associate, R H Partnership p Architects taken, an and the projects that are generated, will change the way we use and experience the city. The following pages attempt to explore many avenues of teamworking: Andrew Drummond of R H Partnership offers his thoughts on the relationship between designer and craftsman. We also visit the historic Village Hall in Papworth Everard, ably brought into the 21st century with the assistance of Purcell. Teamwork is something that deﬁnes all types of projects; it is ultimately about how we come together as a group of individuals or organisations to collectively create the best solution it is possible to achieve.
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In the workshop: months of collaboration become reality © R H Partnership Architects
HANDS ͻON “...Stop, collaborate, and listen...” – Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice, 1990 WORDS ANDREW DRUMMOND
© Tim Rawle
There may not be scientiﬁc formula for this, but I suspect there may well be a deﬁnable relationship between the size of a practice and the scale of their projects – the bigger the studio, the bigger the projects? As projects get larger, modern procurement methods typically add many layers of management. Every layer increases the distance from the creative hand of the architect and the experienced hand of the maker. Collaboration on large-scale projects with multiple stakeholders is essential, but is it all too remote from the act of designing and making? There is a danger that the process becomes the product. It is the creativity of concept and the quality of construction that have the biggest impact on the life of the building and its occupants. Occasionally, a large project can offer an opportunity to remind
Design evolution sketches © R H Partnership Architects
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us of the beneﬁts of direct collaboration – the shorter distance between architect and maker. The opportunity The opportunity for direct collaboration arose from a simple requirement for a reception desk, with a site at the base of an atrium that ensured the desk would be viewed from all sides and above. The project’s story is complex, but a few key milestones through the process stood out as reminders of the beneﬁts of direct collaboration that I will share with you. Optimise for fabrication The concept design of the desk was based on a pure ellipse; the built form is based on what became known as ‘Lloyd’s Ellipse’ (named after the CAD specialist at the joinery company). This subtle reshaping of the external form allowed us to reduce the number of CNC moulds used for the outer panels from thirteen to four, saving materials, cost, and time. Experiment and innovate The optimisation of the shape and the mould design allowed moulds to be reused for multiple panel fabrication, but this led to a problem. After the panel was pressed, it needed time to cool down before being removed from the mould. The ﬁrst panels that were removed ‘curled’ at the edges – a step too far with the double-curvature surface!
Architect R H Partnership Architects HI-MACS® specialist BSF Solid Surfaces Joinery, CAD/CAM DLD Bespoke Solutions
The fabricator drilled out the CNC mould and ran through a cold water feed to rapidly cool the panel, speeding up production. The designer’s eye The ﬁnal opportunity during fabrication was a more hands-on, instinctive act. Whilst the overall shape of the outer shell was well deﬁned at design stage, working with the fabricator we were able to mock up the top edge line and adjust by eye before cutting. Stop, collaborate, and listen If this small but essential item of ﬁt-out was part of a larger project, would the same opportunities to optimise, innovate, and improve have been available, or lost? Create opportunity, consider all aspects of your designs, whatever the scale, and remember three key words... Stop: think about the materiality of your creation; Collaborate: seek out the experts; Listen: immerse yourself in their knowledge.
HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT Refurbishment and extensions require both sensitivity and a detailed understanding of both the building and the client’s requirements. Stephanie Norris, of Purcell, describes the challenges and successes of teamwork when refurbishing a complex existing building near Cambridge WORDS STEPHANIE NORRIS, PURCELL
Internal View of main hall towards stage ©Louis Sinclair
Purcell was commissioned by the Parish Council in 2012 to undertake the refurbishment and extension of Papworth Everard Village Hall, an early 20th-century Arts and Craftsstyle building in the centre of the Papworth Conservation area. The hall was in a state of disrepair and inadequate for modern community use in a village that has grown signiﬁcantly in size and diversity.
Architect and Lead Consultant Purcell Quantity Surveyor Bremner Partnership Structural Engineer Bidwells Consultants Services Engineer KJ Tait CDM Coordinator PFB Construction Management Services Contractor TJ Evers
All members of the design team contributed to an early feasibility study to establish a detailed brief and clear client vision. By referring back to this at key stages of the project, the team were able to maintain clarity
Extensions and Alterations to North Side ©Louis Sinclair
of vision and ensure the ﬁnished building met all key client requirements. The ﬁnal result included a multipurpose hall and stage, a second function room, council rooms, and improved WC, kitchen, and storage provision. Disabled access was provided throughout, along with a lift to ﬁrst ﬂoor level. The consultant team worked together to ensure coordination and keep within budget, meeting throughout the design stages. The client team attended all design meetings to ensure transparency of communication. Community and statutory engagement played a key part. At an early stage, Purcell met with South Cambridgeshire planners to ensure a smooth planning consent process, and, at strategic points, presented to the Parish Council to test the latest proposals. A complex design issue was the integration of new services without impacting the original aesthetics of the hall space, with open trusses and a high exposed timber boarded ceiling. In close conjunction with the Services Engineer, KJ Tait, a clever solution resulted in a large angled ‘pelmet’ at the junction of wall and
Detail of new stair and screen ©Louis Sinclair
ceiling, providing space for horizontal services, including lighting. The architecture of the main space is preserved and enhanced, and gives a highly maintainable service void, out of sight, yet adding to the overall aesthetic of the space. The strong teamwork ethic extended through the construction phase. The approach was a collaborative one, with the contractor and team members working together to solve the inevitable challenges when refurbishing an existing complex building, and which resulted in a highly successful community asset.
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TIMBER! CHURCHILL COLLEGE AND TRINITY HALL STUDENT ACCOMMODATION PROJECTS
While Cambridge is buzzing with construction sites, Gavin White, Structural Engineering Director at Ramboll Cambridge, is focusing on two unique projects which are using a traditional material in different and innovative ways WORDS GAVIN WHITE, STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING DIRECTOR
Cambridge faces incredible pressure on housing supply and student accommodation. We are all aware of the need for more accommodation, but what if we could build more quickly, and more simply, using one of the oldest construction materials – timber? This is exactly what both Churchill College and Trinity Hall are doing – thanks mainly to the endeavours of the design teams on both projects. The projects use engineered
timber as the main structural material. This comprises glulam beams and cross laminated timber (CLT). Both of these products have been the mainstay of construction in Europe for over 20 years, but their use in the UK has only taken off in the last 10 years. Their use on these student accommodation projects is no surprise when one takes into account the main reasons cited by each architect for the choice on their project – and what is interesting is that they
both chose timber for different reasons. The Trinity Hall project on Thompsons Lane, designed by Freeland Rees Roberts Architects, uses CLT as the main structure. Initially suggested by the project engineers Smith and Wallwork as a viable alternative to traditional construction, the speed of erection has been the main reason for the choice of this frame. Typically, CLT construction can shave about 10–15% off the overall project
Churchill College’s Cowan Court partially clad during construction. View from Madingley Road © Ze’ev Feigis
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Trinity Hall WYNG Gardens during construction. External views of the CLT structure from Thompson’s Lane and New Park Street © Freeland Rees Roberts Architects
What if we could build more quickly, and more simply, using one on of the oldest construction materials – timber? r? programme. This can be signiﬁcant when looking to open student accommodation in time for the new intake. The full superstructure of lift shaft, staircase, ﬂoor, and walls are all made from CLT, but when the building is ﬁnished there will be no evidence of this timber heritage, as it will all be covered up – mainly to meet elevated acoustic requirements. Churchill College’s project on Madingley Road has chosen timber as the main
construction material for rather more altruistic reasons. It is the aesthetic of the timber glulam beams used here that was part of the competition-winning submission by 6a architects. Churchill College’s existing student accommodation is dominated by concrete, especially where the timber grain of the shuttering is evident. It is this ‘seeing the timber in the concrete’ which inspired the use of the sustainable and low carbon glulam beams for this project. In contrast to the Trinity
Freeland Rees Roberts Architects on Trinity Hall WYNG Gardens The use of CLT in Trinity Hall’s new student accommodation building was ﬁrst put forward by the project structural engineers, Smith and Wallwork. The potential beneﬁts to the programme were immediately clear, and a visit to 5th Studio’s St Catharine’s College Russell Street Graduate Hostel demonstrated its viability. On site, the beneﬁts have been borne out; The time between delivery of CLT panels and erection on site has been very short, with deliveries being highly calibrated and the main frame being erected in only eight weeks. The materials needing storage on site have also been minimised. Construction details have had to be carefully considered, particularly with regard to differential movement between the brick skin and the frame, as well as acoustic requirements between rooms. Although the CLT will not be exposed in the ﬁnished building, certain details will be tell-tale signs of what lies beneath the building’s skin.
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6a Architects on Churchill College Cowan Court The new court at Churchill College shares much in common with the original Sheppard Robson buildings, while gently voicing its difference in both form and materiality. Like the original, three storeys of student bedrooms are arranged around a square inner court which, rather than containing the traditional grass quad, is ﬁlled with densely planted birch trees, the lawns now placed outside the building. Cowan Court also replaced the existing courtyard board-marked concrete with dark timber. It aims to offer a natural warmth both externally and internally, rhyming in colour and texture with the planted surroundings. Reclaimed oak board cladding (from the walls of railway carriages) covers the exterior; the boards are already weathered to a soft dark brown, blending with the tones of the original brickwork. This patina is offset by windows of a new, lighter joinery oak, accentuating the differences in colour and texture through age. The structure of the building is made of laminated soft wooden beams and posts which remain exposed in most areas, giving a rhythm and natural depth to the interior and echoing much of the highly expressive structure of the original buildings. The timber involves less CO2 emission in the construction process, triple glazing and abundant insulation prevents heat loss, while renewable energy is provided by solar panels and photovoltaic cells on the roof.
Hall project, here the timber glulam beams are left exposed in each of the bedrooms, giving a real glimpse of the structural design of the building. The effect of the exposed beams will surely be a delight to the students and visitors of this building. All the design teams, contractors and clients I have spoken to have unanimously agreed that working with timber as a construction material brings a whole new positive dimension to buildings, whether this is through reduced programme, lighter buildings, or for the possibilities of architectural expression that it creates. I look forward to seeing more timber buildings in Cambridge that follow on from these two ﬁne examples of timber construction.
Churchill College’s Cowan Court - Internal and external views of the glulam timber frame and cladding during construction © 6a Architects
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ON THE WAY – FROM MILTON ROAD TO OUR CITY STREETS
A@F:6I2Kͻ FROM MILTON ROAD TO OUR CITY STREETS Kieran Perkins, an architect and urban designer at 5th Studio, is evoking the potential of the City Deal to turn a traffic artery into a beautiful place WORDS KIERAN PERKINS
We, the people of Cambridge, are remarkably inconsistent in our attitude to the city’s urban environment. We talk a great deal about the beauty and preciousness of its historic fabric, and hotly debate the merits, or otherwise, of new buildings, yet we delegate responsibility for the appearance and function of the most public parts of our city – its streets – to highway engineers. Highway engineers, of course, do an important job, but they ought not to be expected, on their own, to create good – let alone beautiful – places. Movement is the lifeblood of cities, but the faster and simpler that movement is, the more anti-social and anti-urban it tends to be. While things have improved since the gyratory
at Mitcham’s Corner or the Elizabeth Way roundabout, new highway infrastructure is still too often crude and overbearing. As City Deal transport schemes gear up, and with the Milton Road consultation project already causing controversy, it seems like a good moment to ask if highway engineers’ design teams have the full range of skills necessary to deliver good places, as well as functional infrastructure. The initial work completed for Milton Road seems to dismiss complexity at the ﬁrst opportunity. The existing conditions are reduced, not very convincingly, to red/amber/ green designations. A hierarchy of priorities is deﬁned, apparently without testing or debate,
An opportunity for improvement: Shops parade and car park on Milton Road © Ze'ev Feigis
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A good example for street improvements: Remodeling of Passeig de St Joan, Barcelona by Lola Domènech © Adrià Goula
ON THE WAY – FROM MILTON ROAD TO OUR CITY STREETS
Planting Plan, Remodeling of Passeig de St Joan, Barcelona © Lola Domènech Example for a good design of a street as a tree lined urban landscape.
acting. In this case, a broader development of the scheme’s objectives – with inputs from a wide range of specialists and stakeholders – might have opened up other ideas to be explored ahead of the design proposals.
Unique moments and opportunities along Milton Road © Kieran Perkins
followed by the adoption of a supposedly ‘optimal’ street cross-section with little justiﬁcation. This formulaic and utilitarian approach has, predictably, aroused dismay among the residents, with the loss of existing trees ﬁrst of many concerns. Between the topdown bus-priority project and the bottom-up reaction, a more fertile middle-ground has been neglected. Good architects generally start a project by working with the client to reﬁne the brief, and understanding the context in depth before
So what might that mean? Well, what if, alongside developing a ‘typical cross-section’, the team also examined ‘unique moments’ along the road, so that the character and function of each stretch can be understood as a place, rather than a continuous linear route of uniform character? Perhaps, with the right design skills on the team, an approach to renewing the streetscape could be developed to provide a sense of continuity – a pleasant, tree-lined approach to the town centre – while also supporting and celebrating the diverse qualities and use of different sections. What if there was sustainability input, which highlighted planting as an important response to the changing climate, providing better water management and protection from rain or sun, while also helping reduce pollution effects and screening the road from neighbouring properties? And, what if, through understanding how Cambridge’s whole busway network would work once complete, it became clear that bus-priority need not necessarily be at the top of the hierarchy of objectives for Milton Road? Projects are progressing despite there being no robust, overarching plan for transport across the city, which could prove costly, both ﬁnancially and in terms of opportunities missed.
The va value of this project can and must exceed that of simply speeding up bus journeys
Successful schemes around the world show the importance of clarity and comfort in encouraging people onto public transport. If an attractive and popular city-wide network is to be established around Cambridge, a wider vision for the visual identity and operation of a coherent and easy-to-use public transport system needs to be developed. And ﬁnally, what if the City Deal employed an architect to champion and coordinate these various aspects – from strategy down to the detail of bus stops – as the city of Luxembourg has done with its Luxtram project, or as Transport for London does? Negotiating and organising multiple strands of thinking is central to what good architects do, and part of our ethos is a belief that architecture’s real disciplinary power comes from its ability to engage with complexity, rather than suppressing or fragmenting it into multiple specialisms or single-issue responses. The value of this project can and must exceed that of simply speeding up bus journeys – which leaves me wondering: how can the team manage without the synthesis and spatial intelligence that an architect might bring?
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SPHERE OF INFLUENCE
We asked 49 chartered practices in the Cambridge/Cambridgeshire area to take part in our 2016 Practice Survey to ﬁnd out more about local working methods and to see if there are any patterns in the way we work. The results show that practices in the area undertake a broad range of work in terms of location and scale. Despite a high proportion of projects being at the lower end of the cost spectrum, we must be doing something right with an average practice age of almost 15 years. WHAT SIZE IS YOUR PRACTICE?
AVERAGE AGE OF CAMBRIDGE PRACTICES
40% 35% 30% 25% 20%
PL OY 51+ EE S
PL 21OY 50 EE S EM
PL 11OY 20 EE S EM
PL 6OY 10 EE S
PL OY 1-5 EE S EM
PR AC T
ITI SO ON LE ER
AGE VS SIZE OF PRACTICE 45
TYPICAL PROJECT CONTRACT SUM
40 35 30 25 20 15 10
< £1 MILLION
0 SOLE PRACTITIONER 1-5 EMPLOYEES
6-10 EMPLOYEES 11-20 EMPLOYEES
21-50 EMPLOYEES 51+ EMPLOYEES
PROPORTION OF WORK WITHIN THE LOCAL AREA 40% 35% 30%
25% 20% 15% 10%
AROUND APPROX AROUND ALMOST A HALF THREE ALL QUARTER QUARTERS
of practices always try to work with local consultants
of practices agree that location inﬂuences their ability to win work
of practices are optimistic about the future of construction in the local area
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of practices believe local architects can provide a better service
of practices believe there is an advantage to the design team being based locally
of practices feel that a base in the Cambridge area offers a competitive edge. The other half aren't too bothered.
of practices aren't worried about the number of local projects designed by non-local architects
s ile 0m 40 Map of projects completed by Cambridge-based practices in the past year. The size of each circle represents the number of projects.
The percentage of practices optimistic about the future of construction in Cambridge
Data was collected between 9 March and 1 April 2016. Some participants wished to remain anonymous, however we would like to thank the following practices for taking part: AC Architects Cambridge Ltd, Ashley Courtney RIBA AABC, Cound Webber Architects, Emma Adams Architect Ltd, Freeland Rees Roberts, Haysom Ward Miller Architects, Karen Rainsford Architect, Mart Barrass Architect (Ltd), MOOi Architecture, M Reynolds RIBA, Project 5 Architecture LLP
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RAISING THE STANDARDS Emily Greeves reviews the development and rationale behind the recently adopted national space standards, the challenges and the opportunities which lie ahead WORDS EMILY GREEVES
The ﬁrst ever cross-tenure, national dwelling space standard, which sets minimum internal areas for new homes in England was published last year as part of the government’s Housing Standards Review. While state-funded housing has always been subject to internal space standards of one form or another, only around one third of local authorities in England previously had policies guiding the minimum size of private housing. Since 1980, the private sector has grown to dominate housing output and the size of new-build private housing has steadily decreased, creating a growing disparity with the rest of Europe, where minimum space standards are the norm. London introduced mandatory compliance with the Lifetime
NUMBER OF BEDROOMS (B) 1B
NUMBER OF BED SPACES (PERSONS)
1 STOREY DWELLINGS
Homes accessibility standards in the 2004 London Plan, and mandatory cross-tenure minimum space standards in 2011. The impact is already becoming clear: a recent RIBA report highlighted that the average three-bedroom home in London is now 25m2 larger than in Yorkshire – the spatial equivalent of a double bedroom and a family living room within the London standard. Space standards are seen as a way of ensuring there is sufficient room to carry out normal daily activities, socialise, store belongings, and avoid overcrowding. Research by University College London for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment in 2010 highlighted the contribution that adequate space makes to
2 STOREY DWELLINGS
3 STOREY DWELLINGS
1.0 1.5 2.0 90
Technical housing standards – nationally described space standard. Table 1: minimum gross internal floor areas and storage (m2) *Where a one person flat has a shower room rather than a bathroom, the floor area may be reduced from 39m2 to 37m2.
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family life, and the possibility of creating a more stable housing market, driven by an understanding of long-term need rather than by short-term investment decisions. Large sections of the house-building industry argue that minimum dwelling sizes will impact housing affordability at the lower end of the market, because developers will be prevented from providing smaller, ‘entry level’ versions of each type or ‘starter homes’ (a term that, since its introduction in the 1980s, has been a by-word for unacceptably small housing) at reduced prices. Another counter-argument is that minimum dwelling sizes promote a low threshold rather than encouraging developers to aspire for more. Standards need to be intelligently interpreted if they are to become the solution to, rather than part of, the problem of substandard design. This is particularly important when linking standards to funding. The Parker Morris minimum space standards quickly became maxima when used to set public subsidy levels under the Housing Cost Yardstick in the late 1960s. The new national standard is set at a decent level, based on the London standard that was originally set out in the draft London Housing Design Guide (2009). The London standard derives from a study of room sizes relative to designed occupancy. Different rooms were planned to accommodate access and circulation requirements of Part M of the Building Regulations and the Liftetime Homes standards, as well as a set of furniture and activity zones modiﬁed from the Housing Quality Indicators previously used for social housing. The Gross Internal Area ﬁgure for each type of dwelling (see table left) was calculated from the cumulative total of room areas and an
A thou there is much to Although welcome in the new space welco standard, serious concerns have been raised
dining area calculated as difference of kitchen dining and kitchen
10.4 sq.m dinin g area 3.6 sq.m
11.2 sq.m dinin g area 3.6 sq.m
12.0 sq.m dinin g area 4.5 sq.m
12.8 sq.m dinin g area 4.5 sq.m
14.4 sq.m dinin g area 4.8 sq.m
Room size diagrams in relation to occupancy levels, designed to accommodate circulation and furniture requirements. Extract from the London Housing Design Guide Interim Edition (2010)
© GLA and Mae Architects
allowance for circulation and partitions. Although there is much to welcome in the new space standard, serious concerns have been raised about its implementation. While other elements of the new national technical standards have been introduced to the Building Regulations and are therefore mandatory, the new space standard is only contained within planning legislation, making it open to legal challenge, and ‘optional’. In addition, the new legislation has done away with all existing guidance on space and design quality, and removed powers from local authorities to deﬁne their own ‘technical standards’. The Housing Standards Review had a deregulatory ambition, as a product of the government’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’. For now, London has managed to sidestep these restrictions. A new Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance was published in March this year, conﬁrming that the national space standard will be applied, but also keeping previous guidance on issues such as access, private open space, and daylight. Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire councils have recently adopted the national space standard in their draft Local Plan, while at the same time they are promoting the construction of 43,000 new homes in the next 15 years. In times like this, when the market is driving mass building, it is important to remember that the quality of these homes, not only quantity and size, is key to the prosperity of a growing city and a thriving community.
1-BED, 2-PERSONS 2-BED, 3-PERSONS 2-BED, 4-PERSONS 3-BED, 5-PERSONS
9.4 sq.m dinin g area 3.2 sq.m
Emily Greeves is the director of a private architecture practice (www.emilygreeves.com) and has been involved in the development of housing guidance in London. She was lead author of the 2010 edition of the London Housing Design Guide for the Greater London Authority.
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CAMBRIDGE FUTURE Cowley Park, Cambridge Business Centre © Z. Feigis
SHAPING PLACES FOR OPEN INNOVATION A special forum of the Academy of Urbanism in Cambridge focused on the city’s unique role in encouraging innovation, and asked how can this quality be encouraged?
PRESENTATIONS BY ADAM PEAVOY Mecanoo Architects
WORDS ADAM PEAVOY
The event, organised by Dutch practice Mecanoo Architects and Cambridge-based property consultants Creative Places, was hosted by the University of Cambridge Architecture Department and attended by innovation experts, planners, developers, artists, urban designers, and architects. The evening focused on Cambridge to ask how the structure of the city may have historically assisted its exceptional innovation in science and technology. It also explored how this can inform the design (or re-design) of the science parks now proliferating around the city. One of the main highlights was how the core of historic Cambridge has nurtured innovation through a physical proximity of ideas via a close clustering of people. Particularly notable is how the close juxtaposition of creative minds, which has always been cross-connected between highly varied disciplines, allows for ideas exchange across diverse ﬁelds in a small geographic area. Another aspect noted as crucial for innovation was social interaction, and the key question asked was, how can a city that promotes innovation as central to its identity nurture social interchange? The most replicable quality from Cambridge is not the exceptional college social structure, but the urban context in which the colleges exist: the streets, social venues, and green spaces.
Lastly, the capacity of a city as a place to play and create was discussed, in reference to ideas explored on this subject by emeritus Professor Patrick Bateson, a Cambridge-based behavioural ecologist. Bateson's work points out the connection between a ‘playful state of mind’ and innovative work in art, science and industry. This discussion posed the question: can urban design contribute to such a state of mind? The mixed use, socially stimulating city, it was argued, can stimulate innovation. The context for innovation has perhaps never been more aligned with good urbanism. Jonathan Burroughs presented current thinking on ‘Open Innovation’ as a model for industry R&D. This concept has been gaining more traction and is characterised by more business openness than was the case in the past. It recognises that the ﬂow of knowledge in and out of companies is more economically rewarding than when work is developed in a protected, or fully ‘inhouse’ system. This is reﬂecting in changes to the architecture of such environments; both AstraZeneca in Cambridge and Samsung in the Silicon Valley are constructing research buildings that embrace an open ﬂow of people through them. Could we therefore, extend this thinking and design to enable staff in such innovative businesses to socialise back in the city streets themselves?
JONATHAN BURROUGHS Creative Spaces MICHAEL CUBEY Bow Arts, London ERIC MARTIN Delvendahl Martin Architects JONATHAN ROSE AECOM =;6D2@B6D=;@E͊chair͋ 5th Studio
When looking around us we can see more interconnection between clusters leading to what have been termed ‘innovation districts’ by the American Brookings Institute. Cambridge, though certainly an ‘innovation district’, is increasingly based on a spread of monothematic, zoned research parks. The Academy of Urbanism forum highlighted that the success of historic Cambridge, alongside the known importance of both social interaction and play to innovation, should point to a better blueprint for enhancing a city’s economic output via improved urban design and mixed use in its science parks. For more information about the Academy of Urbanism, see www.academyofurbanism.org.uk.
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SPACE TO GROW
Aerial view of the proposed Severn Place © Alison Brooks
A BRAVE NEW WORLD
“Isn’t there something in living dangerously?” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World WORDS TOM FOGGIN ON BEHALF OF THE EDITORS
Recent issues of Cambridge Architecture have focused on the growth of Cambridge, the delivery of design quality, and the success of construction projects across the city. This success is in no small part due to the quality of development, both in new-build projects, including this year’s Cambridge Design and Construction Awards winner, Richard Murphy’s Young Street Campus, and in refurbishment work, such as Trinity College New Court. The process of developing a successful project from inception through to completed building can take months – or even years – and depends on the contribution of a plethora of people, including clients, design teams, consultants, contractors, and subcontractors. The often unsung heroes in the process are
the people on whom all these projects depend, the gatekeepers of all projects: Local authority planning officers and local authority building control officers. Whilst the majority of this issue of Cambridge Architecture focuses on teamwork within the project team, local authorities deserve a special mention for their role in enabling the process, both through the Planning and the Building Regulations stages. From pre-application advice through to the Planning application and consultation process, from Design and Conservation Panel reviews to the implementation of Planning conditions, and from Building Regulations applications to approval processes, local authorities work hard to ensure projects are integrated into the
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existing context, are safe, and well designed. Changes to local authority budgets and staffing mean these unsung heroes of the built environment face ever-increasing workloads and pressure on their time. We share a common goal with Planning Officers and Building Control Officers alike: the design and construction of projects which improve on the current urban fabric. Why else would we be involved in the construction industry? We therefore have a duty to respect the approvals processes and support our colleagues across the table. Without these guardians of the built environment, there would be a real threat to the quality of development across the city. We live in a brave new world in Cambridge, a city which has evolved for centuries and
A BRAVE NEW WORLD
We place pl our trust in Plann Planning Officers to act as curators
Proposed CB1 Station Road development © Grimshaw Architects
which has drastically changed in the past decade. Due to economic, demographic, and political changes, Cambridge is inevitably becoming a bigger, denser, more urban city; yet the quality could have been very different were it not for the planning system. Lest we forget, Cambridge is home to two Stirling Prize winners (Accordia, 2008; and the Sainsbury Laboratory, 2012). Some might say that Cambridge could do even better still, and that is true. However, a number of recently completed and in-progress projects demonstrate that Cambridge has the capability and ambition to aim high. Cambridge City Council recently granted
permission for the Severn Place residential scheme, designed by Alison Brooks Architects and featured in Issue 69 (Case Study pages 1011), which beneﬁted greatly from consultation with the Design and Conservation Panel and the council’s Urban Design Team. Despite some controversy and challenges in the local press, particularly relating to the height of the proposals, the project has been awarded planning consent. Another approval of the revised application for 50-60 Station Road, designed by Grimshaw Architects, promises a landmark building within the CB1 station area masterplan. Although some tall projects have attracted
criticism in recent years, other examples, such as Parkside, designed by Glenn Howells (see CA66), contribute to the city skyline in a positive way. In an era of unprecedented growth for the city of Cambridge, the density that tall buildings offer should be seen as a positive way of addressing the demands for space without increasing outward sprawl. Should Severn Place deliver everything promised at planning stage, the scheme has the potential to contribute an exciting addition to Cambridge’s built environment. We implore Planning Officers to be brave, to look to the future. We place our trust in you to act as curators for the city and to uphold the highest standards for quality. We therefore ask you to trust us, too, as a construction industry. Working together, we are all part of the social contract between power and people. Trust us to put forward brave new designs, let us demonstrate that good development sometimes means breaking from the norm, as exempliﬁed by schemes such as Accord or Severn Place. As a populace, we often forget that change is part of life, and that includes the urban realm. When new projects are proposed, why don’t we run towards them in celebration, embracing the change instead of resisting it? It is all too easy to stick our heads in the sand and refuse to consider a new way of thinking, or a new approach to the built environment. Cambridge is a high-quality city with many ﬁne examples of ‘good design’, yet it is evolving too. Let’s work together as a team – clients, designers, planners, contractors – to continue that process. We should celebrate the potential for change. Design quality requires vigilance in the context of ﬁnancial strain, so let’s push onwards and upwards to test boundaries. After all, isn’t there something in living dangerously? 1
Application reference 14/1905/FUL Application reference 15/0906/FUL
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Learning with the RIBA © RIBA
ARCHITECTS The RIBA is conducting an Education Review in order to modernise its education system, make it more inclusive, and remove obstacles for aspiring architects. Ann Bassett, representative for the CAAs Education Outreach, discusses the importance of education in architecture WORDS ANN BASSETT
The RIBA's Education Review will include a long-awaited rationalisation concerning its relationship to the European Union and EU architects, and the requirements for joining the RIBA, both professionally and as students. The RIBA has begun rolling out a new strategic initiative for student engagement, offering free membership and trying to gather them into the fold. A cynic might view this as ‘getting them in young’ to ensure future revenue, but what is really in it for the RIBA? To their credit, the RIBA is discussing promotion of other forms of membership than simply ‘architect’, in order both to increase membership and to use its activities to facilitate cross-pollination of
ideas, increasing the exposure of architects to the general public. This includes students of architecture and related subjects, along those not currently studying under an accredited RIBA course. RIBA East is actively engaging with Cambridge University, Anglia Ruskin University, and Norwich University of the Arts, with an eye on the new course in the University of Hertfordshire. The CAA already engages with Cambridge University’s Department of Architecture on a regular basis: in 2015, the CAA sponsored the First Year students to construct temporary structures at the Junction, presenting their work at the Launch Event for CA69 that year. It also sponsors the Student Prize for the best ﬁrst year portfolio; in 2015 it was won by Paul Eldwin Glade.
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Pavilion Project © Paul Eldwin Glade
The RIB RIBA is examining i which students ways in can connect with and beneﬁt from interaction with architects
The CAA is not alone in this approach, Norwich and Suffolk are both active participants and enquiries are always welcome. As part of the RIBA’s education initiative, it is examining ways in which students can connect with and beneﬁt from interaction with architects, and, similarly, for architects to engage with the students and schools of architecture in order to showcase the role of the architect in the modern world. This includes its ‘mentoring’ programme, in which architecture students shadow an architect for a couple of days a year, allowing them a small insight into professional life that is not too taxing on their already over-ﬁlled academic year. This also creates all-important introductions for both sides to ﬁll future student roles. While RIBA East focuses on university students, the CAA is piloting a programme of ‘Architects in Schools’, where architects attend school classes for an hour or a day and feed into relevant subjects in a
Bottles at the Junction © Philipp Ebeling
practical, creative, and fun way. This both serves to introduce children to architecture and the building industry, and to raise public awareness of the importance of good architecture. The CAA will use some of the resources developed by the RIBA in London schools for another part of its new education initiative, the Architecture Ambassadors programme.
Back to school © RIBA
If you are an architect or your school is interested in being involved in any of these outreach programmes, please get in touch with us, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We are currently considering groups from Year 6 right up to A level, and we will give preference to those schools which may have less direct exposure to career options.
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CAMBRIDGE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION AWARDS YOUNG STREET CAMPUS AT ANGLIA RUSKIN UNIVERSITY RICHARD MURPHY ARCHITECTS Following the site's acquisition in 2008, Richard Murphy Architects completed the ﬁrst phase of this development in 2014, and the last two in Autumn 2015. Designed to house the ARU’s Faculty of Health and Social Care, the campus contains the Music Therapy Department, the Visual Eye Research Unit, a 200-seat lecture theatre and a café area, amongst other units. Through a combination of new and carefully refurbished existing buildings, the architects had the opportunity to examine new external spaces and explore the grain of the urban fabric, at the same time as providing over 5,000m2 of teaching space. The visual impact of the buildings is thoughtful, with an eye for both the internal requirements and the need to create an entrance to the site that respects the position on the edge of the Petersﬁeld Conservation Area. This is achieved by a dramatic copper-clad facade to the lecture theatre, and a glass bridge linking phases one and two, with a physical link to the third phase forming a complex of buildings. The new building designs have sustainability at their core, and much of the ﬁrst phase is naturally ventilated, whereas other elements are (generally due to function) fully sealed. Alongside the lecture theatre, the simple palette of materials consists of brick, glass, and copper, complementing the streetscape with a welcome alternative to the standard Cambridge brick. The £16 million Young Street Campus continues the all-too-rare tradition of exploring contemporary designs and materials that complement and gently challenge the surroundings. It rejuvenates a formerly derelict site, reﬂecting, as the architects themselves put it, the “innovative, environmentally conscious, forward-thinking nature of ARU”.
CAMBRIDGE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
In an issue focusing on teamwork, we look at the shortlist for this year’s Cambridge Design and Construction Awards. As several entrants noted during the presentations this year, the success of these projects is in no small part due to the large teams of consultants behind them, combined with ambitious clients and good design © Richard Murphy Architects
PROJECT TEAM Client Anglia Ruskin University (Bishops Hall Properties) Architect Richard Murphy Architects Landscape Architect craft:pegg Main Contractor Mulalley (Phase 1); RG Carter (Phases 2 and 3) M&E Van Zyl and de Villiers (Phase 1); RPA (Phases 2 and 3) Project and Cost Management Gardiner & Theobald
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BEST LARGE NEW BUILDING
71 BEST CONSERVATION, ALTERATION, OR EXTENSION
NEWS © 5th Studio
PROJECT TEAM Client Trinity College, Cambridge COLLABORATORS Architects 5th Studio Project Management Bidwells Environmental and Services Engineering Max Fordham Structural Engineers Cambridge Architectural Research Quantity Surveyors Richard Utting Associates Environmental Monitoring ArchiMetrics CDM Coordinator Gleeds Main Contractor SDC SPECIALIST SUBCONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) Munro Building Services Insulation Natural Building Technologies Lime render AVV Solutions Joinery Coulson Building Group
NEW COURT, TRINITY COLLEGE 5TH STUDIO Located at the heart of Trinity College, New Court provides 160 high-quality and sustainable student rooms within the historic interiors of William Wilkins’ Grade I Listed building. The client conceived of the refurbishment as a way to critically upgrade the accommodation, whilst developing an approach to historic buildings that allows adaptation to mitigate and respond to climate change, with the aim of reconciling the often conﬂicting requirements of sustainability and conservation. From inception to post-occupancy monitoring, the project teams have worked collaboratively to deliver a project that restores and enhances the original building, whilst achieving the levels of sustainability, amenity, and comfort required of contemporary accommodation. The Cambridge Design and Construction Awards judging panel stated, “The Trinity College scheme for New Court is fantastic. It underlines the successful marriage between the refurbishment of the Wilkins building with all the new interventions.” The project gives this historic building a new lease of life that will allow it to be occupied and sustained long into the future.
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© Hill Residential
SHORTLISTED ENTRIES © Matt Smith
ECCLESTON PLACE HILL RESIDENTIAL Eccleston Place consists of seven homes adjacent to the inspiring sight of Highsett, the modernist adjoining development. The property mix of three-, four-, and ﬁve-bedroom homes are arranged in a visually striking rectilinear array, taking their modernist neighbour as a principal inspiration, and creating, in the developers’ words, “clean lines and bold forms”. The development contains considerable variation in size within a comparatively small but carefully landscaped site, a valuable asset considering its proximity to the station and outward connectivity. Faced in a warm and pleasant brick exterior and detailed with timber inﬁll panels and metal edging, the interior reveals an open plan arrangement, designed to offer space and light – the very qualities so many developments struggle to achieve.
PROJECT TEAM Hill Residential and MPM Properties
Robinson College’s brief was to provide new teaching and conference facilities to complement their existing auditoria and accommodation. r h partnership’s response to the predominantly residential setting on Adams Road was a modern, yet elegant, two-storey steel frame building made from traditional materials, including red brick, lime mortar, and oak, complemented with anthracite grey zinc cladding. The Crausaz Wordsworth Building provides three large-volume spaces: a ﬂexible, ﬂat-ﬂoor plenary room for 100 people, a reception area, and three seminar rooms. Oriented with the narrow elevation facing the road frontage, the building is in scale with adjacent properties. The doubleheight plenary room is set back to the rear, while a quiet cloister on the west uniﬁes the elements.
51 HILLS ROAD, CAMBRIDGE GORT SCOTT
PROJECT TEAM Client Jesus College, Cambridge Main Contractor Ashe Project Managers Bidwells Architect Gort Scott Services Max Fordham Structure Solution Consulting Engineers Quantity Surveyors Quantem Landscape Architect JCLA Low-Carbon Consultant Orchard Estate CDM/Building Regulations MLM Clerk of Works Andrew Merrick © Gort Scott
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CRAUSAZ WORDSWORTH BUILDING, ROBINSON COLLEGE R H PARTNERSHIP ARCHITECTS PROJECT TEAM Client Robinson College, Cambridge Architect r h partnership Landscape Architect David Brown Landscape Main Contractor Barnes Construction Structural Engineer Mott MacDonald M&E KJ Tait (pre-construction) / RPA (construction phase) Project Manager Savills Quantity Surveyor/Cost Management AECOM
The brief was for a commercial office building on a constrained site in the Cambridge city centre, surrounded on three sides by Listed buildings. Serving as a lasting asset to the College, the new building will make a positive contribution to the surrounding area. The internal arrangement is ﬂexible, allowing the building to be divided into multiple and changing ownerships without compromising the base-build. This project demonstrates our use of innovative design and building technologies and careful detailing to deliver a highly sustainable building that responds to its historic urban context in a bold yet sensitive manner. The building achieves BREEAM Excellent rating and is currently the ‘greenest’ office building in Cambridge.
© Peter Cook
PROJECT TEAM Client Queens’ College, Cambridge Architect Saunders Boston Architects Contractor SJ Marsh Building Contractors Project Manager/Quantity Surveyor Corderoy
Client The Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue Architects Cowper Griffith Architects Engineers Andrew Firebrace Partnership Services KJ Tait Engineers Contractor SEH French Ltd Quantity Surveyor Gill Associates Acoustics NACSound
© Saunders Boxton Architects
BETH SHALOM SYNAGOGUE COWPER GRIFFITH ARCHITECTS
QUEENS’ COLLEGE NURSERY AND STUDENT ACCOMMODATION SAUNDERS BOSTON ARCHITECTS The project brief was to relocate the existing nursery from its constrained location on the main Queens’ College Silver Street site to the ground ﬂoor of the existing Block D building on the Owlstone Croft site in Newnham Croft, Cambridge. The remaining ﬁrst ﬂoor area of Block D was to accommodate 5no. new student rooms and associated facilities. The project brief allowed the opportunity to re-engage the juxtaposition of styles in the original stable block, built in the late 1800s, and the nurses’ training centre extension, built in the 1950s. External insulation to the 1950s extension was chosen as a ‘fabric-ﬁrst’ approach to sustainability that also overcame extensive areas of spalling brickwork. The desired effect was to resurrect the contrasting language between traditional and contemporary architecture that had been lost.
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY SCHOOL MARKS BARFIELD ARCHITECTS The University of Cambridge Primary School is the ﬁrst complete building in the North West Cambridge Development. It consists of a threeform entry primary school and 78-place nursery, to serve the Development and local communities. The primary school will be a University Training School (UTS) and is the ﬁrst primary UTS in the country. It has three main functions: primary education, teacher training, and educational research linked to the Faculty of Education. The design for the school is the result of close collaboration with the Faculty of Education and of intensive research. The idea was to create a school where architecture and education align; where learning occurs everywhere and is democratic. This led to a non-hierarchical, circular plan, where classroom clusters form a unifying courtyard.
This project ﬁnally delivers a new synagogue and community space near the centre of Cambridge for the Jewish community. The strong urban context, and the restricted availability of natural light, informs the design and particularly the section of the main worship space for 200 people, recognising the need for the central place of worship to be both practical and spiritual in its spatial form and use of light. The roof is constructed as a double serpentine curve, perforated to achieve an excellent acoustic. A library, offices, and a meeting room are placed at the front of the building, with community rooms, administration, and service facilities below. The library projects out as a cedar-clad bay over the panelled main entrance areas, successfully engaging with the neighbouring terraced houses. On the street, the building is set back, allowing for a gathering space, with bicycle hoops and a small tree.
PROJECT TEAM Client University of Cambridge Architect Marks Barﬁeld Architects Landscape Architect Colour Urban Design Ltd Main Contractor Willmott Dixon Construction M&E Briggs & Forrester Project Management Turner & Townsend Cost Management Gardiner & Theobald © University of Cambridge Primary School
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WHAT ARE WE WORKING ON? COWPER GRIFFITH ARCHITECTS We have just completed a new music school building for Ipswich School. It forms an already much-loved modern addition to a 450-year-old school. The historic campus, located in the centre of town, meant the building had to provide state-of-the-art acoustic performance and practice spaces within an envelope that responds to its surroundings in a contemporary way. To aid the acoustic insulation, the red-brick building is solid masonry throughout, and has a large basement for plant and percussion rooms. The chimney-like zinc roof cowls bring light into a deep plan, as overlooking and noise concerns from neighbours were considerable factors in achieving planning permission. A second phase of an auditorium is planned.
Design sketches © CH&W Design
© Louis Sinclair
WHAT Structure and Civils Smith and Wallwork Mechanical and Electrical Max Fordham Acoustics Ramboll Cost Consultants Andrew Morton Associates
ARE WE WORKING ON?
We are bringing modern materials and traditional design principles together to develop an architectural style in a small West Cambridgeshire village. Having worked with the client for many years, we now have four houses awaiting planning approval, and a further seven in the studio, all designed to mesh smoothly with the landscape and existing houses. We are also ensuring the new houses are sympathetic to the environment and are sustainable. The homes also support ‘ageing in place’, offering full ground ﬂoor accessibility and provision for lift installation, and an overall ﬂexibility to allow for generational changes, so people can live safely, independently, and comfortably as they grow older.
CHADWICK DRYER CLARKE STUDIO We received planning permission in November 2015 for the Stephen Perse Foundation Senior School, for which Technical Design has recently competed for a Design-and-Build contract. The project comprises 2,900m2 of accommodation in a ﬁve-storey building in a conservation area of central Cambridge. The building will house teaching and learning spaces arranged around sports and recreation areas. A rooftop sports pitch and four-court sports hall have been integrated into a contextual piece of architecture that addresses the volumes of these active spaces. The context and character of the surrounding roads were key issues in achieving planning consent, so ‘sinking’ the sports hall into a basement level whilst articulating the upper storeys aided the massing and scale of the building. The composition of glazing, detailed brickwork, and bronzeﬁnish cladding supported this approach. A clear strategy developed with The Landscape Partnership intensiﬁes and liberates underused areas of the site for pupil use. The landscape will provide an attractive environment at the heart of the school, whilst supporting learning and physical activity.
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© Chadwick Dryer Clarke Studio
SPONSOR INTERVIEW In this issue, we speak with Adrian Nicholas, Director at bb+c architects ltd What is bb+c’s relationship to Cambridge? The practice was founded 33 years ago and our work is predominantly within a ﬁve-mile radius of the city centre. One of our very ﬁrst and most signiﬁcant projects was winning a competition for a theatre and leisure extension of Powell and Moya’s Cripps Court at Queens College. Over the years, we have been fortunate enough to work for a large number of Cambridge Colleges. Our practice is located alongside the River Cam and we all cycle to work, giving us an acute appreciation of the city, including its transportation challenges, and, for the most part, its wonderful architecture. What recent, current, or upcoming projects are you most proud of or excited about? We are currently on site at Westminster College for the construction of their new headquarters building for the Woolf Institute, a theological research institute of the Abrahamic faiths. This was a most
A future of continual, responsive, and dynamic respons growth, reﬂective of this city of excellence
challenging project of quite complex spatial planning requirements – a mini college within a college, set within the historic city, and next to listed Cambridge landmark buildings. We are also on site with Gonville and Caius College for their new boathouse. What, in your view, is special about Cambridge? Cambridge is a wonderful place to work. It is willing to embrace both progressive architecture and sensitive conservation work. Cambridge is small enough to be intimate, yet large enough to provide a vibrant, exciting, and constantly changing social, artistic, and living environment. What is your favourite place or building in the city? There are so many obvious – and not so obvious – architectural favourites. Perhaps the River Cam for its simple pleasures: fun under ﬁreworks, picnics, punting, bumps, and the backs; the meadows with their natural wonders – a swooping swan landing almost on a skull; the otherworldliness of the beautiful, mist-cloaked or sun-soaked bridges and buildings.
© Richard Fraser Photography
The Leys Theatre Auditorium © Philip Reeson Photography
including better inter-connectivity with its immediate neighbours and inter-cities. What sort of built environment or society do you foresee in the Cambridge of the future? A future of continual, responsive, and dynamic growth, developing from a ‘challenge and be challenged’ basis, reﬂective of this academic city of excellence.
If you had the power, what would you improve in Cambridge? The long view. A 2050 or 2075 vision, and its delivery of a very large and growing ‘town’ into a true future city, a Greater Cambridge,
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CA71 Spring/Summer 2016 issue. Teamwork