CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF CAMBRIDGE ARCHITECTURE
CAMBRIDGE ARCHITECTURE Cambridge Association of Architects Gazette
SPRING/SUMMER 2017 CAMBRIDGE ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECTS GAZETTE
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CONTENTS _4 NEWS
_7 30-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE
Current and former editors look back at how Cambridge – and the gazette – have changed in the magazine’s 30-year history
_ 16 LOOKING FORWARDS
We task a selection of consultants to consider the challenges that lie ahead
_ 24 CAPTURE THE CAM
The winner of our Capture the Cam competition, and some commendable entries
_ 26 ALL CHANGE AT CAMBRIDGE
We consider how six of the largest projects currently underway will change our city
_ 28 FIRST YEAR PROJECT
The University of Cambridge sent its first years back to school, to get hands-on experience of a local project
_ 30 UNIVERSITY OUTREACH
The CAA and the University of Cambridge meet at a PechaKucha-inspired event to promote interaction between the Town and the Gown
_ 33 BOATHOUSES
We look at four new boathouses, three on the Cam and one on the Great Ouse, and how they fit into their context and environment
_ 41 CFCI AWARDS
The winners and commended entries at this year’s hugely successful Cambridge Design and Construction Awards
_ 46 RIBA EAST
The RIBA East mentoring scheme, with the University of Cambridge, provides architecture students with experience of live projects
Welcome to this 30th Anniversary special edition of Cambridge Architecture. The gazette was first published in the summer of 1987 and consisted of two sides of typed A4 paper – and it expanded rapidly from there. This edition of Cambridge Architecture looks back on the past 30 years of the construction industry in the Cambridge area and asks what the future holds. Among regular features reviewing local projects and designers, we will reveal the winners of our Capture the Cam competition, showcase the winners of the Cambridge Design and Construction Awards and present the work the CAA is undertaking with the Department of Architecture at Cambridge University. After 30 years and 73 issues, Cambridge Architecture is still going strong and we are looking forward to the next 30!
– The Editors
Cover photos, from top left: Eden St Backway, by Once Architecture ©Once Architecture | Young St. Campus, Anglia Ruskin University, by Richard Murphy Architects ©Richard Murphy Architects | Boathouse, Gonville and Caius College, by bb+c Architects ©Richard Fraser Photography | AstraZeneca HQ, by Herzog & DeMeuron Architects ©HDM Architects | Combined Colleges Boathouse, by rh partnership architects ©Andrew Hatfield | Heong Gallery, Downing College, by Caruso St. John Architects © Ioana Marinescu | Accordia, by Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects ©FCB Studios | Sainsbury Laboratory, by Stanton Williams Architects ©Hufton & Crowe | Great Kneighton, by Proctor & Matthews Architects ©Tim Crocker | Elm End House, by Haysom Ward Miller ©Richard Fraser Photography | The Jerwood Library, by Freeland Rees Roberts Architects, ©David Adams | The James Dyson Building, by Nicholas Hare Architects, ©Nicholas Hare Architects | Botanic House, by Formation Architects ©Louis Sinclair | Future Business Centre, by 5th Studio ©Bobby Open | Addenbrookes Car Park, by Allies & Morrison with Devereux Architects ©Ståle_Eriksen | Parkside Pool, by S&P Architects ©Richard Fraser Photography | Cambridge Fire Station, by Glenn Howells Architects ©Paul Miller | Nelson Court, by Studio 24 Architects ©Adelina Iliev Photography | David Attenborough Building, by Nicholas Hare Architects, ©Nicholas Hare Architects | Ely Boathouse, by Jeremy Bailey Architects with Baynes Mitchell Architects, ©Jeremy Bailey | The Triangle, by HTA Design, ©David Adams | Microsoft Research, by Chetwood Architects ©David Adams | Wychfield Residences by rh partnership, ©rh partnership | 51 Hills Road, Jesus College, by Gort Scott Architects ©David Grandorge | Law Faculty Library, University of Cambridge, by Foster + Partners ©Foster + Partners | Bridge St Offices, bb+c Architects ©Richard Fraser Photography | Cowan Court, Churchill College, by 6a architects ©Johan Dehlin | Cambridge Water, Barber Casanovas Ruffles Architects ©Tim Soar | Trinity Hall, by 5th Studio Architects ©Tim Soar | Black House, by Mole Architects ©John Donat
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THE CAA THANKS THE FOLLOWING SPONSORS
• 5th Studio • A C Architects Cambridge Ltd • A shley Courtney RIBA AABC • B arber Casanovas Ruffles Ltd • Barry Sharman Ltd • bb+c Architects Ltd • Colen Lumley RIBA • Cowper Griffith Architects • D altonMuscat Architects llp • E IKON Architecture and Design Ltd • George Davidson Architect • Goose Architects Ltd • G raham Handley Architects • Karen Rainsford Architect • M Reynolds RIBA • Mart Barrass Architect Ltd • Mole Architects • N J Twitchett • P eter Rawlings Architects Ltd • Project 5 Architecture • R H Partnership Architects Ltd • Raydan Watkins Architects • studio24 architects
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 the magazine, contact email@example.com EDITORS David Adams, Tom Foggin, Luke Butcher, Susie Lober ADVERTISEMENT SALES Marie Luise Critchley-Waring (firstname.lastname@example.org) Published by Bright Publishing. www.bright-publishing.com
Cambridge Association of Architects Gazette News
IN RESPONSE TO CA72 Following the “Charrettes of Fire” article in CA72, Anne Cooper of AC Architects contacted us to explain more about the history of the Mitcham’s Corner Development Framework Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG), pointing out that it already has a charrette-based history. In 2009, with Cambridge City Council, the CAA ran a one-day charrette looking at major traffic interchanges. AC Architects requested, and were assigned, that area and their ideas published in CA58, coinciding with the “Cambridge Live” exhibition of that year. In 2010, a new planning application galvanised local residents and traders to form the Friends of Mitcham’s Corner, working hard to raise the profile of Mitcham’s Corner as a neighbourhood centre. Cambridge University helped with their Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment course, concentrating creative minds across the world on the topic. The results of this week-long charrette were published in Cambridge News and are still referred to today in the ongoing discussions between Councillors, Planning Officers, and stakeholders; those discussions resulted in the SPG that sparked the office charrette described in CA72.
©AC Architects Ltd
These efforts have helped ensure Mitcham’s Corner’s identification as an Opportunity Area, (Policy 21), in the emerging Cambridge Local Plan 2014 and its adoption in the SPG. It is fervently hoped that this will engender the quality of urban regeneration that it so desperately needs. Thus, the closing proposition of “Charrettes of Fire” has already taken place, not once but twice. The editors would like to thank Anne Cooper for her timely reminder of the enormous efforts that architects and interested members of the public undertake, ensuring that people who pass through or live in neighbourhoods have an input in their development.
CA73 WAS ALSO SUPPORTED BY THE KIND DONATIONS FROM THE FOLLOWING ORGANISATIONS: For more information on how your organisation can support the production of the Cambridge Architecture gazette through advertising and other opportunities, please contact Marie Luise Critchley-Waring at email@example.com The CAA gratefully welcomes sponsorship of its annual activities including events, talks, student projects and networking evenings. For more information on how you, or your practice, can support our activities please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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RECORD NUMBER OF BUILDINGS IN THE EAST OF ENGLAND SHORTLISTED FOR RIBA AWARDS RIBA East announced that it has shortlisted 31 projects for this year’s Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Regional Awards, the most ever to reach the second stage of judging. Amongst the shortlist is a drawing studio on stilts, the conversion of a derelict windmill into a holiday home, and a number of new housing schemes, all in the running after being shortlisted from a record number of 62 entries.
TOM FOGGIN WINS CFCI YOUNG PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
© Julian Claxton Photography
The CAA would like to congratulate Tom Foggin, an architect for R H Partnership and Secretary of the CAA, who was chosen as Young Professional of the Year at the CFCI’s 2016 Cambridge Design & Construction Awards, held on 13th March 2017.
90 YEARS OF THE CAA
With some surprise, a dig through the annals of Cambridge Architecture reveals that 2017 is the 90th anniversary of the CAA, formerly the Essex, Cambridgeshire & Hertfordshire Society of Architects. Formed in 1927, it was subsequently absorbed into the branch system of the RIBA in 1966. The CAA wishes itself a Happy 90th Birthday and thanks all those over the years who have assisted it.
IN MEMORIAM: MARK SAVIN, RIBA
The CAA is greatly saddened to note the sudden passing on 27th November 2016 of Mark Savin, recently Chair Elect of RIBA East, Chair of the Suffolk Branch, and one of the founders of Infinity Architects, Bury St. Edmunds. Mark was 39 and a bright, talented young architect, who was passionate about the profession, and an enthusiastic champion of good design (and LEGO). He will be greatly missed by family, friends, and colleagues alike.
NEW OFFICE FOR THE CONSERVATORS OF THE RIVER CAM AC Architects Cambridge Ltd have recently completed the new sustainable headquarters of The Conservators of The River Cam at Clayhithe. Proportionally, the building reflects both the proximity to the river and echoes the footprint of an earlier building, aligning with the derelict remains of the stables for the barge horses. Its simple, contemporary lines are respectful of the adjacent Grade II Listed Conservators’ House. The sustainable design includes rainwater harvesting and an air source heat pump. With windows oriented to take advantage of north light and the views onto and along the river, it retains the existing ambience of the site and creates an enjoyable place to work.
CAA MONTHLY MEETING
Wednesday 7 June, 6.30pm. Venue: see CAA website for details.
Stephen Perse Foundation (Chadwick Dryer Clarke); Cambridge University Chemistry of Health (R H Partnership); Construction logistics (Kier). Monday 12 June, 6.30pm. Auditorium, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE ARCSOC SUMMER SHOW 2017 From Thursday 6 July, 7pm. Bargehouse, OXO Tower Wharf, London.
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Since building control began three centuries ago, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s evolved to deal with changing needs and circumstances. Today our industry benefits from a cooperative, innovative approach Following the Great Fire of London in 1666, King Charles II passed the London Rebuilding Act of 1667. Back then all houses had to be built of brick or stone and the rudimental rules for space separation were put in place. This was the start of piecemeal building standards in modern Britain, which were consolidated in the 1984 Building Act. Now 350 years later, the huge variety in materials, innovations in design and the scale of buildings means that the building regulations have become an even more important set of principles for the professional team, which includes local authority building control, to help them cooperatively achieve the right outcome. 3C Building Control is the combined local authority team for Cambridge City Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council and we are strong advocates of this design team approach. Working in this way with us, even before a formal application is
made, embeds quality and compliance into your design. Local authority building control teams like 3C now use the building regulations as a tool rather than a stick. We can help find the best solutions for your project. 3C Building Control is the only provider locally of a building control service that checks and approves plans for your project as part of the standard fee, reducing risk, more accurately fixing costs and giving you the confidence to build. Our combined service is the 21st century approach to providing building control. We are local, always available, understand the sites, support work on early discussions, often without extra costs, and then deliver a high-quality inspection plan to ensure an easy route to the completion certificate. Just like King Charles II our goal is to produce buildings that are safe, but we also want them to be accessible, energy efficient, innovative and fit for the 21st century.
Together we are shaping the future landscape of Cambridgeshire. Our ambition is for 3C Building Control to be an integral part of that future. We have already made a fantastic start by winning a national award for the best change of use of an existing building with the iconic Spillers Mill in Cambridge. So the only thing that wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t change is our passion for great buildings. www.labc.co.uk email@example.com
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30 YEARS OF THE GAZETTE
To celebrate three decades of the Cambridge Architecture Gazette, current and former editors discuss how the nature of architecture in Cambridge, and of the City itself, have changed over the years, as well as reminiscing on the magazine's humble beginnings
CAMBRIDGE ARCHITECTURE: 30 YEARS AND COUNTING It is with great pleasure that I introduce this collection of reflections and retrospectives from the last thirty years of the Cambridge Architecture Gazette. But thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more: as we perused previous issues of the gazette, one fact sprang out at us from CA44. It is a double celebration: The CAA was originally the Essex, Cambridge & Hertfordshire Society of Architects, formed in 1927, before being rationalised in 1966. So in addition to celebrating the 30th anniversary of the gazette, we are also celebrating the 90th anniversary of the CAA itself! Originally the brainchild of Ian Steen, early issues of the gazette were put together in his Grantchester office on one or two sides of A4 paper, responding to a need to circulate information to members and report on local activity. With the support of David Raven, Colen Lumley, David Yandell, Richard Brimblecombe, John Preston and many others, the gazette grew over the years, covering major changes across the city and proposing workshops such as the Gateway to Cambridge (CA25, 1993) and Vision for the Northern Fringe (CA27, 1994.) It takes effort to produce a gazette; a large number of individuals and organisations contribute a combination of time, skills, energy and finance and the CAA remains, as ever, incredibly grateful to the architects, engineers, consultants, contributors, advertisers and sponsors alike. Architecture is a complex beast, particularly in the crucible of Cambridge. There is an impressive tally of fine buildings, both civic and academic; a huge number of talented people who either live and/or work here. This situation is not without its drawbacks. The Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seemingly endless expansion plans, and a spending budget to match; the historic antagonism between 'Town and Gown'. Yet,
From Cover to Cover: The evolution of the gazette 1987 - 2017 (c) CAA
it remains a city of parks and open spaces; public museums and institutions of the quality only found in London or cities far larger than Cambridge. The densely-occupied streets that form it still need to be maintained, protected, and improved. The challenge is to peer into the future and consider how one expands to cater for this, without losing the essential character. The CAA tries to help where it can; and it needs your support. As is demonstrated on the
following pages, action only has an effect when it is joined with the dedication and will of those driving it. The lesson of the last 30 years is clear to me: change is inevitable and by sitting back one becomes an observer of change, not an agent of change. You can have an effect on your city; get involved, make the time, and help to make your city the best it can be. David Adams Editor CA67-
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CAMBRIDGE ARCHITECTURE ORIGINS I founded Cambridge Architecture in the 1980s with the sole purpose of providing a forum for communication between architects in Cambridge. It was literally a ‘paste-up’ – text and photographs spray-mounted onto sheets all in black and white. It had humble beginnings. I had founded my own practice in Cambridge after having been part of the design team for the Museum for the Burrell Collection in Glasgow. I joined the committee of the CAA and was frustrated that there was no way for architects in Cambridge to talk to each other. The broadsheet dealt with ideas as well as recently-completed buildings, energy conservation, even sustainable wildlife gardening. With the help of David Raven, another architect, it developed editorial strength, reporting on local architectural and planning issues. Initially, it was a dialogue between architects but rapidly met a need to communicate with Cambridge and beyond. Ian Steen Editor CA1-12 (1987-1990)
REFLECTIONS ON GROWTH & CHANGE I first visited Cambridge 60 years ago in the mid-1950s. Lion Yard and the Kite area had not been developed at that time. The city then had a finer grain, more historic coherence, and a sense of place; and there was far less traffic. 'Pioneering' new buildings had come to Cambridge in the 1920s and '30s, infilling both the city centre and its periphery, and continuing post war. Highsett on Hills Road, begun in the late fifties, was probably one of the first new pieces of 'urban design', yet it had little influence on most other city development and new housing which followed, and was viewed critically by some. Major college and university construction also began across the city in the late 1950s and has continued steadily since. Pevsner described Cambridge in 1970 as “one of the happiest hunting-grounds in Britain for specimens of the architectural styles and fashions of the 1960s.” The steady evolution of the design brief from that time and the increasing need for contextual studies and interdisciplinary teamworking is giving Cambridge a rich
The increasing need for contextual studies and interdisciplinary teamworking is giving Cambridge a rich variety of high quality new buildings variety of high quality new buildings. In parallel with the evolution of wellconsidered buildings and their settings, we have had the march of the worst kind of developer-led construction with minimal design input. With the (surprisingly) weak planning controls in Cambridge, this has led to some all-too-obvious visual damage to some city approaches, notably on Hills Road and Newmarket Road, which may well take generations to rectify. But there has been some forward thinking in recent years by the city planning department and associated agencies and city landscapers have been proactive. There have also been influential workshops and other initiatives by local design professionals but Cambridge has massive and accelerating
© David Raven
development pressures. The city as a whole, and within a broader settlement context, needs greater design input and quality control and imaginative concepts and solutions are required to keep ahead of development pressures, worthy of its historic and international status. David Raven Editor CA1–55 (1987–2007)
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Colen Lumley, left, hosts guests including Friederich Hayek, right, at his office in Malting Lane, 1984.
THE CITY REGION IS THE CASE Invited to comment in a few words on how architecture in Cambridge, and the city itself, has changed over the past thirty years, I am obliged to contain my reflections to the single issue that I believe has most affected the lifeworld of this period, architecture and the built environment included. History provides both an explanation for the mess we are in today and an idea of the challenges of visionary imagination that will have to be faced to get out of it. 1979 (I leave readers to figure out why) will serve as good a date as any for our datum, whence the emergent unregulated free-market hegemony, a dictator-less totalitarianism, first made its mark, overturning the socialist utopianism of the post-war era. Market-advocating economists decried the prevailing enthusiasm for the organisation of everything (planning) and the inability to leave anything to the simple power of organic growth, arguing that free-market values were the only way to stimulate growth for the benefit of all1. We are living through the human consequences of this anti-planning myth, the miseries of homelessness, unaffordable housing, the massive scale of graceless and chaotic development â&#x20AC;&#x201C; an Alice-in-Wonderland of
"The relationship between totalitarianism versus freedom of the individual expounded by Friederich Hayek inspired the advent of the free market economy, and was the economic ethos behind Reaganism and Thatcherism" Lumley notes.
superstructure preceding infrastructure, a city compartmentalised into semi-private science and business parks, university estates, including that glossy shanty town medical city-withina-city Addenbrookeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, dividing and subverting the connective grain and scale of the urbane character of historic Cambridge. A sad legacy of missed opportunities and commodification of the civic realm. The legitimating planning powers have proved substantially inadequate in sophistication and resources to cope with the complexities and protection of democratic interests at this level and speed of growth, on so many occasions depressingly outwitted by independent developers. On the other side of the coin, the 'worldrenowned reputation of Cambridge's rich history as a centre of learning', acting as a magnet for the region's transformative technological/ scientific growth, the 'Cambridge Phenomenon' with its dynamic 'golden age' of intellectual innovation, dependent and preying upon the historic character and habitus of the special environment of the City and its environs. As is increasingly obvious, the finance surrounding this developmental bonanza is an out-ofthis-world order compared to the resource available for housing its activities. Whilst "scores of Cambridge tech millionaires" are doubtless exceedingly grateful2, government
has been too wedded to private enterprise to extract a share from the uplift of land values and private incomes for the public chest. The market regime is the source of ever-increasing public dissatisfaction with the distorted way things are now and the challenge is to create an ethical market economy that offers a parity of human values with those values of the wealth managers, and contributes its fair share to the common good. It is no use waiting for a top-down political agenda to a better future. The impetus for change must come from small independent, non-partisan, autochthonous initiatives. Some are already afoot, challenging and provoking the establishment with insightful ideas for cooperative and balanced development; for competence and disinterestedness in development agency; for a reassessment of city region structure which better matches the reality of time and place (where is Ely in the current reckoning of mayoral domain?) and informed by the experiences of other urban clusters in similar situations in parts of Europe, such as the Netherlands Randstadt or Lille Metropole. Colen Lumley Editor CA1-55 (1987-2007) (1) The formative tract behind the free market forces movement was F A Hayek's The Road to Serfdom 1944 (2) Business Weekly, October 2010
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Katie Thornburrow at the National LEGO Finals, 1987 © Katie Thornburrow
A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE I arrived in Cambridge in 1986 as a recent part II graduate and worked for Cambridge Design until I became a partner in a new practice five years later. In 1995 I formed Granta Architects, so for more than thirty years, I’ve been part of the Cambridge architectural scene. A female part and therefore, quite rare. I know many of the local female architects and have employed many others over the years. Gender diversity in the profession has improved but there is still so much to be done, as only 21% of Chartered Architects are women. The tools available to me as an architect have been transformed since the
days when, working for my father’s practice in Hong Kong, I had to painstakingly reposition the escalators in the Macau ferry terminal using a razor blade and Rotring 0.18 nib pen. My office these days relies on advanced CAD software, cloud-based storage, and online submission of planning applications – though we don’t yet have an online kettle. Perhaps the most significant change I’ve seen in the City is simply the density of the traffic. I’ve watched Cambridge get choked by cars, buses and lorries to the point where it gets in the way of the choices I can make as an architect – for example, air quality is so poor in the centre that options like biomass boilers for colleges are rejected because of the particulates they produce
– not to mention the issues around how deliveries are made to new buildings. At the same time, we have failed to take advantage of the opportunities to make the city more sustainable, for example with a radical redesign of traffic flow to support bicycles. I recently completed a Master’s degree in food policy and questions of food security and space to grow food are very important – and also, largely unaddressed. As architects, we have had allies. The planning department of the City Council has been instrumental in delivering great modern architecture, whether new buildings or extensions to historic ones. They deserve greater recognition and the pressure they are under due
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to budget cuts being passed on from central government pains me enormously – we should all be supporting them. Finally, I arrived just as council house building ground to a halt as the Right to Buy came into effect and limited the ability of the Council to invest in housing stock, and I’m saddened that I never got to put my skills to work here – though I have worked with Granta Housing Association, on a smaller scale. And it angers me to see the lack of space standards in place in the new private developments that have been permitted. Perhaps we can look forward to a reversal of this trend. Katie Thornburrow Editor CA42–51 (1999–2005)
Apart from the explosion in the number of cafes and restaurants, the most significant change to Cambridge I have seen in the last 30 years is the reduction in the porosity of our urban fabric. Cambridge is unique in having its colleges enmeshed in the city centre - even Oxford can’t compete with this. In the early days of the University, most students were housed in hostels and subject to violent attack from the townspeople, so colleges built courtyards that resembled something between a monastery and a fortress, with high window-less walls and gatehouses saying ‘keep out’. By the time I was a student, this threat had mercifully subsided and we enjoyed a (perhaps) brief period when anyone, not just students, could wander around the colleges relatively freely. This began to change in the 1980s. Was it due to a more security-conscious world? To mixed colleges bringing new challenges? An increase in tourism? Thatcherism? Whatever the reason, slowly but surely the colleges started locking their doors and by the 1990s, the advent of card access controls completed the process. Queens began the trend to charge visitors admission, followed by most of the city-centre colleges. Today there is a confusing situation of differing opening times and admission charges. Some are closed, some are not, some charge local residents, some don’t (“Make sure you have a photo ID,” one porter told me sternly). King’s is now very much part of the tourist industry with its own visitor centre on King’s Parade and a £9 entry fee. St John’s charges £8, Trinity £3. Some £2.50. Many do not charge and a few actively discourage visitors altogether. But the main change has been the closing off of those charming, winding routes through the colleges. My top three were: • Department of Architecture to the University Centre via St Peter’s Terrace, right at the William Stone Building, through the Deer Park behind the Fitzwilliam and out through the back of Peterhouse • Trinity Street to Magdalene Street stroll
© Cambridgeshire Collection
through St John’s Tudor courtyards, cross the Bridge of Sighs, turn right into New Court, a quick look up through the spiral stair to the roof lantern, through a magical neo-gothic snicket into Cripps Court and out via Magdalene’s Benson Court (with visit to wonderful river-level lavatory and view of punt pool) • The Backs to King’s Parade Park in West Road and walk through King’s into the city centre for a bit of shopping, admire the crocuses and the river where students and townspeople alike sun themselves on the bank (see photo) Are colleges entitled to keep out all but authorised persons? Absolutely. This is private property after all and there are legitimate security concerns. It’s just sad that a little bit of public/private space has been lost. And, with Cambridge keen to increase applications from disadvantaged state-educated pupils, how many 16-yearolds visiting Cambridge look at the ‘Closed to Visitors’ signs and think: ‘Nah.. not for me’? Jeremy Lander Editor CA39–55 (1997–2007)
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AN INHOSPITABLE HOSPITAL When we moved back to Cambridge in March 1991, we bought a three-bedroom estate house with a south-facing garden which happened to be close to Addenbrooke’s. Then, as now, there was little choice in terms of what was available to purchase but crucially, the market was depressed, providing leisure for us to select one of the four or five properties for sale which fell into our price bracket. We came from Brentwood in Essex, home to Ford’s European headquarters where, it seemed, every resident over the age of 17 drove at least one car. Not so in suburban Cambridge, where our neighbours openly disapproved of our threecar household. That was until November 1991 when the first stirrings of the Addenbrooke’s behemoth introduced on-site parking charges and overnight, Nightingale Avenue became a choice spot in the Addenbrooke’s hinterland free car-parking zone.
The population of Cambridge has increased by 30% in the past 30 years, facilitated by the infrastructure developments of the M11, A11, A14, and the electrification of the main line to London. Addenbrooke’s expanded in parallel at the same, if not faster, rate. To begin with, it was a relatively benign presence with its Sunday morning car boot sales on the Rosie car park and its John Major-inspired public open days in which our children were encouraged to manoeuvre around the Out Patients’ forecourt, testing alternative wheelchairs. But these pastimes lasted no longer
Walking through Addenbrooke’s in 2017, however healthy you might be, can be a fundamentally dispiriting experience
Anne Cooper © Anne Cooper
than Major himself, as the 1999 “2020 Vision” took hold and the hospital started to grow into the surrounding Cambridge Green Belt. Apparently the Addenbrooke’s campus occupies roughly the same area as that occupied in the city centre by Cambridge University and the Colleges. Over the past thirty years, Addenbrooke’s has mushroomed into a 'Medical City' or perhaps, more accurately, a 'Medical Citadel' with 17,000 inhabitants, its own policed access road, bus station, hotel, staff accommodation, sports club, food outlets, shops, banking facilities, no-smoking laws, and combined heat and power station selling back into the national grid. Unfortunately, this expansion seems to have attracted little scrutiny. In 2002 when we were applying to refurbish and extend our offices on Victoria Road, a multimillion pound Addenbrooke’s building happened to be on the same Planning Committee agenda. To our amazement, it was granted permission by the Councillors following five minutes desultory discussion, whereas our apparently audacious proposal resulted in a heated half-hour debate and a split vote, fortunately in our favour. Walking through Addenbrooke’s in 2017, however healthy you might be, can be a fundamentally dispiriting experience. Approaching from Hills Road, you have to negotiate the huddles of cigarette smokers banished beyond its boundaries and find your way around multiple levels lined with unlovely buildings and sunken service roads before you emerge into the more recent development and ongoing building sites. It is good to know that there is an Allies and Morrison masterplan in place and that some of the contemporary buildings are achieving design accolades (CA70), but my contribution to this retrospective is to turn the spotlight on Addenbrooke’s continuing expansion: look out for Papworth at Addenbrooke’s and the Government-backed railway station. The continuing expansion of Addenbrooke’s is having a massive impact on the southern city fringe and I would urge Councillors not to waiver in demanding a standard of architecture and landscaping commensurate with Addenbrooke’s international status and to implore that those standards be applied to the campus as a whole. Anne Cooper Editor CA25–39 (1993–1997)
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Peter Carolin, 1987 © Peter Carolin
THE CITY BURSTS ITS BOUNDS The Cambridge area’s economy is growing at a rate which, if maintained, would double its size in ten years. And, as the economy grows, so is it transforming the city and surrounding region. It’s a state of affairs which, 30 years ago, would surely not have featured in even the wildest dreams of Cambridge Architecture’s founding editor, Ian Steen. Throughout the late 1980s and the '90s, pressures for growth and, on the other hand, the constraints of Holford’s 1950 Plan (a tightly-drawn green belt, no heavy industry and population limited to 100,000) were increasingly in conflict. Within the historic centre, the Christ’s Lane/Grand Arcade/John Lewis project had revitalised the area but, more broadly, pundits declared ‘Cambridge is full!’ Politicians were against growth and change and West Cambridge was an unsatisfactory
compromise – this was expansion at a density which was far too low. The 1997-9 Town/Gown Cambridge Futures study was a response to this planning paralysis. Undertaken as a research project within the University’s Department of Architecture, it evaluated possibilities for change (and no change). It thus prepared the ground for the 2003 County Structure Plan and the current expansion of the city and market towns. The related Local Plan proposed a compact and well-connected bi-polar city, in which dense development of the airport site complemented the existing historic city. Sadly, this had to be abandoned when the land could not be released. It was a huge setback. Now there is no coherent strategy. What dominates is the perception that Cambridge is becoming a multi-nodal area. Peripheral expansion takes the form of monofunctional campuses – the Science Park, the Addenbrooke’s bio-medical campus and West
Cambridge (North West Cambridge, planned as a city quarter, is a notable exception). The out of town research parks are also isolated. Large areas of new housing often have the feeling of enclaves. Within the city, small businesses are under pressure and the ever-predatory colleges take over more and more of what Christopher Alexander, in his celebrated 1963 essay A City is Not a Tree, used as the perfect example of a well-integrated city. Holford’s policy of restraint has been well and truly blown, as he suspected it would be, eventually. Are we to spend the next 30 years continuing to obsess about his steadily-eroding green belt? Or shall we be working towards a green Cambridge in which topography, history, nature and connectivity become central to our urban form and rural extensions – and to our sense of place. Peter Carolin Co-editor with Bobby Open, CA 57-63 (2008-2011)
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Grand Arcade, Cambridge
GROSVENOR BRITAIN & IRELAND
Invested and involved in the development of our city for four decades, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland celebrates 30 years of Cambridge Architecture Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has invested in Cambridge for nearly 40 years. We have a close relationship with this great city and its people. As a global business, Grosvenor has always sought to work at a local level and tailor its approach to meet changing needs. Cambridge’s evolution in the last four decades has been both striking and hugely encouraging. It has responded to demand and been able to adapt. And the local authority has been willing to partner with us and others to deliver its ambitions. In 1979 our partnership with the City Council began with plans to redevelop The Grafton centre. Designed by Fitzroy Robinson, and delivered over two years, this development delivered new retail and leisure amenity, better public realm and pedestrian routes and new parks. There followed the development of Grand Arcade, in joint venture with the Universities Superannuation Scheme, at the heart of this busy, historic city. With Chapman Taylor as designer, we integrated a modern retail into
Trumpington Meadows, Cambridge
Trumpington Meadows, Cambridge
the fabric of Cambridge behind the listed building on St Andrew’s Street. More recently, the country’s housing shortage, and its threat to our great cities, has focused growing efforts to respond not just with more housing units, but also with new neighbourhoods. We need urban neighbourhoods that offer a unique lifestyle and have rich histories; neighbourhoods that are home to people of mixed incomes, backgrounds, life stages and jobs. It is profoundly challenging to create such places. We will need closer and more creative collaboration between government and the real estate industry. But bold public sector leadership will be the starting point for success. Our civic leaders should increasingly be judged on the quality of the places their policies create. In that context, we believe Cambridge has in many ways been in the vanguard. We have worked with the City, South Cambridgeshire District and the County councils since 2004 to deliver 1,200 new homes at Trumpington Meadows to the south of the city. With planning approval in 2009, this 24-hectare neighbourhood development, which borders a 61-hectare country park, now has over 500 homes occupied. We remain committed to Cambridge. We have, amongst other things, proposals for an extension to Trumpington Meadows and a new sporting village that are being considered by the local authority. We have a vision for this neighbourhood. We want
to deliver 500 new homes, supporting Cambridge’s ability to attract talent, integrate its communities and remain open to the many, not just the few. The Cambridge Architecture gazette has for three decades shed light on this city’s encouraging adaptation and renewal. We look forward to seeing the next three decades unfold. www.grosvenor.com
Trumpington Meadows, Cambridge
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A convivial meeting of the CAA ©February Philips
UNASHAMEDLY FEMINIST I moved to Cambridge to study architecture around 20 years ago and after 10 years here, I started attending meetings of the Cambridge Association of Architects (CAA). Whilst I was a student, and during my early years as an architect in the city, I developed an awareness of Cambridge as a place with a dynamic between ‘Town and Gown’ and a special character to its centre that made it feel like a town, despite being categorised as a city. Over the last 10 years it feels like this town has been growing, with new transport infrastructure (the guided busway and Chesterton rail station) and a collection of urban extensions increasing the number of residents and visitors. I’d like to think Cambridge’s expanding horizons have been reflected in the demograph of our profession. Cambridge is fortunate enough to have confident female architects, who’ve directed their own careers at the helm of their own practices – two examples are other previous gazette editors, Anne Cooper and Katie Thornburrow. In the last five years, there has also been a gradual shift in the gazette to represent a more diverse range of voices, including a much higher percentage of articles penned by women. Whilst this is brilliant in terms of the profession shifting towards being reflective of society, there is still work to be done to diversify. Around 15 years ago, the RIBA carried out research on why women leave architecture. At the time, 44% of students
February with co-editors Ann Bassett (left) and Zoe Skelding (centre), in rapt attention while a middle aged white man speaks. © February Philips
finishing their degree were women, whilst only 13% of all registered architects were women. The research found it difficult to target a clear answer to why women leave the profession, with one respondent summarising it as follows: “High stress, low pay, long hours, not enough flexibility, lack of job security and lack of support." A description of a profession that, sadly, a number of us probably still recognise. In the years directly following this, there wasn’t much movement on the issue, despite the RIBA electing its first female president in 2009 (what took us so long?) In 2012, the Architects' Journal carried out its first annual reader survey in relation to gender in the profession. The surveys revealed some more candid reasons for why women might leave the profession, with the 2016 edition stating that around 30% of women have encountered
discrimination on the grounds of gender at work and that there is a £3,000 pay gap between men and women at architect level, with a staggering 25% gap at director level. As architects in Cambridge - a city that prides itself on being tolerant, liberal, voting against Brexit, accommodating a highlytransient population of students, academics and researchers from all over the world – we should be leading the way in presenting an inclusive, diverse, and therefore strong profession. After all, diversity adds value to the work we do and provides our clients with a better service. Let’s hope the architectural profession continues to expand its horizons over the next 30 years, at an even faster pace than Cambridge over the last 30 years. February Phillips Editor CA64-69 (2012-2015)
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LOOKING On the 30th anniversary of Cambridge Architecture, we asked local architects and consultants to consider Cambridge in the context of what is to come. What are the key qualities for Cambridge to preserve, what key issues need solving, and how can architecture help?
It’s Spring 2047. My driverless car has just completed its fifth upgrade, following the opening of the central Cambridge light rail system. Its updated navigation instruments will also allow it to drive my grandchildren to school without me! The managed streets of Cambridge are much better than they were 20 years ago; even visitors are aware of the service times allowed for delivery drones and construction traffic only to move about
the city before the streets become public transport- and pedestrian-only zones. The biggest local change though, is gaining momentum. It follows the devolution of planning controls to the Mayor’s Neighbourhood Custodian Architects. Some people view this as a mixed blessing. It has allowed densification of suburban areas to make better use of previously-developed land and evolved buildings better suited
to city living. However, at the same time, the automated-construction-method sites that develop the new mixed-use building typologies are so quick to go up that people’s behaviour and SD card memories have difficulty keeping pace. Ahh well, at least the air is healthier now, summers are cooler, and architects seem to have a common goal! Mark Richards, studio24architects.com
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© Freeland Rees Roberts
Every day, over 200,000 motor vehicles drive in and out of Cambridge and this is projected to rise sharply as our city, university, and economy continue to grow in coming years. Congestion is a pet hate for many of us and it threatens to suffocate the city, yet it is also testament to our city’s more than 900-year-old success story. Commuters and tourists embody our competing desires: to move freely about the city and conversely to arrive, to stop, think, and observe our medieval cityscape. So, what if we could have it all? Our image of the Market Square in the mid-21st century playfully questions what it would mean to stratify these desires, leaving the streetscape uncontested for recreational activities, whilst maximising the potential use value of the ground beneath our feet. The image was inspired by discussions relating to the future of Cambridge’s transport infrastructure at the CFCI AGM on 6 February. Freeland Rees Roberts Architect
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Cambridge is both old and youthful, and it needs to remember the many stories in its walls as it stretches into new ones. It needs to remember how it likes to grow, enclosing sequences of space, forming courtyards and defining edges, keeping low where it steps close to the cow parsley in the meadows and the lazy drift of the river. Architecture and landscape are the same stuff in Cambridge. Together they foster comfort, closeness, and pleasure, they invite activity and play, rest and good health. These are timeless qualities that the next generation will go on to cherish as much as we do. Unlike the shiny dreams of Marinetti, the city will not be defined by technology. It will continue to knit into the fabric of its buildings, remain in our pockets and ears, dissolve into our vehicles, energise the air. If we take enough care, then the bees should not notice human progress here. Chadwick Dryer Clarke Studio
Cambridge must seize the present opportunity to cement its position as a dynamic, world-class city. But the quality of places that we make over the coming years will be essential to its continuing vitality. We are seeing an increasingly polycentric ring of developments around Cambridge. Education and employment are moving out to new epicentres in west and north west Cambridge, and the south and north eastern fringes. With all this fragmentation, how does Cambridge retain its strong sense of place? The historic core offers inestimable advantages in defining a distinctive identity for the city. Management of this special and fragile environment needs to be embraced by all participants – the city, the colleges, the universities, all working together. But we also need to harness the historic core’s special qualities to create a vision for the rest of the city. And not just the fringes of Cambridge, but the places in-between. Places like Newmarket Road, East Road or Hills Road. We have great opportunities – but we need to make sure we have the joined-up spatial vision to back it up. Allies and Morrison
Laundress Green © Allies and Morrison
The David Attenborough Building by Nicholas Hare Architects - utilising new technologies in existing buildings © Alan Williams Photography
Cambridge conceived as a green bucolic city where the countryside coexists with the architectural triumphs, where cows graze on the common in the middle of the city! In the near future, we as architects should insist on this remarkable agenda by implementing environmentally-friendly materials and green technologies, like real plants generating power. Working in collaboration with the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, MCMM Architettura designed a low-impact hub which incorporates plants generating real power. Green wall technologies and semi-transparent solar panels have been combined to generate electrical current both day and night, paving the way for simple and affordable power generation in sustainable cities like Cambridge. In our view, existing and new buildings could be ‘wrapped’ with power-generating plants, giving a new face to the cityscape and simultaneously offering power which could be used as lighting, urban furniture, and advertisement. MCMM Architettura
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A DENSER, MORE ENERGYEFFICIENT CAMBRIDGE?
When asked to consider the challenges ahead for Cambridge over the next 30 years, it is useful to review how the city, and indeed the world, has changed over the last 30 years. One of the major advances has been the development of personal communication technology and connectivity, together with access to unprecedented levels of global information through the World Wide Web. Cambridge as a centre of technological advancement has seen significant expansion over this period and no doubt the indicators are that this is set to continue further. How will the city house an increasing population and manage movement around it while preserving its historic and unique character? One factor which every city will need to address will be the response to changes in climate and demand for energy. How can Cambridge reduce its consumption of energy? Will the city need to review its zoning policies and increase its density to make it possible to live, work, and play in closer proximity, reducing the need for travel and the pressure on the transport network? Will the city need to develop more energy autonomy in securing its long-term future and will personal energy production and consumption undergo a similar revolution to that seen in personal communications? How will energy conservation steer a long-term vision for a more sustainable Cambridge? Mart Barrass Architect
Above all, Cambridge needs to evolve into a city that accepts and celebrates its growth and successes. This means architecture that confidently creates new things rather than defaulting to subservience or studied ‘urban grain’ without joy and social heart – the “hyperbolic modesty” Outram has railed against. Cambridge’s new quarters are going to become increasingly significant parts of the city over the next 30 years, so why shouldn’t their centres rival King’s Parade or The Backs as desirable and inspiring places? That cannot be achieved without all the current hard thinking about infrastructure, transport, and heritage, which needs to be done with a confident long-term view, rather than simply firefighting current pressures. As architects, we have many skills to offer and need more than ever to creatively synthesise technical, economic, and community needs, without losing that final part of the Vitruvian triad: delight! David Hills of R H Partnership
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Cambridge is growing fast. If it is to remain an attractive and energetic city, its culture will need to expand beyond its traditional polarities of market town and university city. The challenge is to enhance its ability to attract global talent, while retaining the particular character loved by those already resident. The pressing focus on the need for more homes in the city could obscure a parallel lack of space for professional creative, cultural, and entrepreneurial activities: Cambridge lacks a stock of robust, low-cost post-industrial buildings. Without these easily-adaptable ‘slack spaces’ there is a real danger that Cambridge could become moribund and monocultural. Its peripheral office and science parks already look horribly outdated. While transient activities (such as the successful food van scene) and temporary inhabitation of spaces prior to redevelopment (such as Aid & Abet) work hard to bridge the gap, Cambridge urgently needs to evolve a better and more permanent built infrastructure for these critical activities to take place. Good architects who – like 5th Studio – believe in fostering a rich and varied urban experience, can help shape places that transcend the generic blandness of so much new development and help arrest Cambridge’s slide towards becoming just another ‘boring town’. 5th Studio
A set of public and working spaces, between the arts and the sciences. Whilst this scheme was rejected for Station Square, perhaps something similar might be considered for Cambridge North? (c) 5th Studio
Radical transport policies are needed to maintain our enjoyment of the city (c) Erik Sehr, Flikr
Over the next 30 years, Cambridge will continue to be a blend of old and new architecture, which the city achieves more successfully than many others. Spiritually, it is an international and welcoming environment with a clear and independent spirit, and the university, learning, and research at its very heart. Everyone living and working in Cambridge recognises the problems of movement into and around the city. To keep Cambridge moving and breathing, we need radical policies to reduce car journeys and encourage walking, cycling and public transport. These need to be safe and affordable, so that we then have space to enjoy the city. Transport and affordable housing will continue to be key issues. With high-paying industries flocking to Cambridge, how can lowerpaid workers afford to live in the city? This change needs to be led by policy-makers with long-term aspirations for the city, not short-term political aims. Get political! Talk to and lobby those in control (probably not other architects). Peter Williams of MCW Architects
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Now is a time of transformation for Cambridge, from a perceived town mentality into a full-grown city. Urbanisation does not mean we should be giving up on the mythical ‘rural/urban balance’ but it does mean that there will be an increase in population on the same patch of land. If we wish to evolve without sprawling on to the fields, let us look back at the heroic past attempts within the city boundaries, such as Arbury (1957) and Kings Hedges (starting 1967), where approximately 4000 dwellings for low and middle-income housing were erected. 60 years later, we can now look at these places for lessons. Current house prices offer opportunities for high density, tall buildings of good, long-lasting quality, where market units can cover the costs of affordable-housingled schemes. The City Council, in partnership with private land owners such as the university, can look at models taking shape now in several London boroughs, where architecture brings people in mixed urban communities together, towards a socially-responsible future. Ze’ev Feigis
ASPIRATIONS FOR CAMBRIDGE IN 30 YEARS’ TIME
Give more open space to the city centre so that it can breathe. The city centre is subject to growing pressures from residents and visitors. A benevolent gesture from some colleges could allow more public access to The Backs with a footpath along the banks of the River Cam. Create a car-free zone to central Cambridge with car-free tentacles spreading out to the city edges for cycling and walking; couple with free and efficient public transport (driverless pods every two minutes to Park & Rides?). Adopt an urban code for increasing density in some neighbourhoods: more opportunity to increase the number and size of housing units in a holistic way. Enhance community infrastructure (parks, play, and sports areas, community and arts venues) across the whole of Cambridge. This is the lattice within which the threads of a humane society are woven, where everyday lives are enriched.
Peter Rawlings for Peter Rawlings Architects Ltd
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©Graham Handley Architects
Combined Colleges Boathouse, Civil & Structural Engineering by Peter Brett Associates in collaboration with R H Partnership Architects. © Andrew Hatfield
Cambridge is home to some of the most breathtaking architecture in the country. The atmosphere and integrity of Cambridge must be retained but we should also embrace growth and allow for a planned evolution of the city. Any new developments, including the adoption of new technology, must be sympathetic to the city’s heritage. Cambridge must evolve to ensure continued quality of life for its inhabitants and that means housing, transport, infrastructure, and amenities should continue to receive investment. While Cambridge has a reputation as a centre for architecture, PBA would like to see it grow its reputation as a city for business, technology, and families. Housing affordability has to be addressed to ensure Cambridge remains sustainable and culturally vibrant. In 30 years, PBA would like to see Cambridge embrace sustainably-based energy solutions, new transport-based technologies, and be exploring sensitive architectural design alongside higher residential densities befitting of a worldclass compact city. Peter Brett Associates The biggest changes will be logistical: we will work from home or from hot-desking sites in key locations, and conferencing online. Work storage will be on the cloud requiring minimum space, and accessible anywhere. Self-drive commuting will become a pointless hassle, with a resultant weight gain and poor fitness. Home versus work will become a rare distinction. Households will therefore become hubs of communications, business, and energy storage and also hubs for exercise and relaxation, including with colleagues: Google-type gyms, gardens, and play areas.
Homes will be low-carbon retrofitted, generating electricity through solar panels and wind, and storing it in the batteries of their driverless vehicles for transport, or to be recouped for household use. Open space will be highly desirable to grow fresh produce, although the bulk of food will be by delivery from local enterprises, with meat almost never. Children will have learning online in virtual schooling at home but will be able to take themselves by driverless virtual navigation to meet together locally for sports and group work. Margaret Reynolds RIBA
KEY 1. University quarter 2. Expanded retail centre 3. N ew canal-side housing developments 4. New science and technology research hub PR Park and Ride locations Inspired by the region’s history of water management and the ‘backbone’ of the river Cam defining the city’s form, coordinated strategic decisions taken by the Urban Planning Group in the regional Mayor’s office have resulted in transport within the city restricted to water-craft. Canals connect the centre to rail, air, and road hubs around the perimeter, combining with the historic framework of green spaces to produce a pleasant, inspiring human environment. The city has also developed with a consolidation of new technical/science research and development centre, located close to the university’s historic core. There is also a densification of housing along canal-side locations, all close to retail and leisure, resulting in an intricate overlapping fabric of urban complexity within a considered, but relaxed, framework controlling the expansion of the city to sustain economic growth to the benefit of the city’s residents and visitors alike. Graham Handley Architects
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© Feilden + Mawson LLP
Architects can make an impact through design but how long does it last? Cambridge is rapidly growing and having to evolve. Parker’s Piece is a sacrosanct green space in the city whose use has intensified over recent years, with a series of events throughout the year. Overlooking this space is the University Arms Hotel, for which Feilden+Mawson designed a significant extension in the 1960s. This was recently demolished as part of the current transformation and ironically, Feilden+Mawson are executive architects for the current refurbishment of this listed landmark building. Architects must satisfy the brief, which hopefully goes beyond meeting current requirements and looks to design-in some flexibility for future use. The new hotel will have extended basement parking in this central location. However, perhaps the growing demand in Cambridge for improved communication, better interconnectivity, and cleaner air will mean less vehicles in the centre. Swimming pool anyone? Feilden+Mawson LLP
© BB+C Architects, Richard Fraser Photography
PASSPORT TO CAMBRIDGE A POLITE MANIFESTO FOR CHANGE Traffic? Bins? I don’t think so…. Under the assumption that others will tackle these issues, we propose a more radical approach. Given an opportunity to tackle all that affects us in the town, and given an unlimited budget to affect that change over the next 30 years, we would like to propose Cambridge becomes a separate state. Cambridge voted almost unanimously to stay within the European Union. We still feel very strongly about the issue, whilst our government presses on with the break-up, as democracy dictates. However, if we become a separate independent state, we could remain European and hence retain the relationships built up over the years, which make Cambridge so special.
As a separate state, we would need a head of state, an anthem, a flag – any suggestions? No wall though, that would be a stoopid idea! We could then sort out those bins... Ashworth Parkes Architects Limited
Cambridge is a contrast. There is a sense of gravitas and permanence in the historic centre, alongside the rapid growth that is resulting from being a modern technology hub. In 30 years’ time, these opposing forces will become even more distinct than they are today. The next few decades will be an exciting period for Cambridge architects. We will embrace design opportunities that are created as we integrate the ever-increasing numbers of people that will live, work, and travel in the city. At the same time, we will continue the sensitive conservation of our architectural heritage, all the while becoming more adept at integrating sustainable technologies into our buildings. As we expand, our success lies in preserving the unique contrasts and character that Cambridge has to offer. Architects over the next 30 years will make our city an even more exciting and vibrant place to live and work. BB+C Architects Limited
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CAPTURE THE CAM Rure In Urbes © Colen Lumley
© Mandy Knapp
We asked readers to capture the essence of the River Cam and its relationship with the development of Cambridge as a city. Amongst the creative submissions, there was one clear winner: Congratulations to Rob Howard for his beautiful “Cam Bridges”
© Naomi Davies
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"CAM BRIDGES" ROB HOWARD WINNER
The Glassworks Health Club is happy to support this competition with a free three-month membership and three personal training sessions from our skilled fitness experts. Whether punting, rowing, or running along the towpath, the River Cam is awash with many forms of exercise and leisure activities. The Glassworks Health Club has been offering a range of fitness and wellbeing to Cambridge city centre
© William Ashworth
© Golnar Malek
for over 16 years and is proud to be on the banks of the river. Situated opposite Magdalene College, you can relax in the spa with views over the Cam, treat yourself to some pampering with an ELEMIS treatment or AVEDA style, or work up a sweat in our state-of-the-art gym and studio. This offers a varied range of classes throughout the week as well as cardio, functional, and weight training.
© Hein Nguyen
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ALL CHANGE AT CAMBRIDGE New developments are happening all over the city. Tom Foggin and David Adams consider how six of the largest projects will fundamentally change Cambridge
Astra Zeneca HQ at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus © Herzog & de Meuron
One of the CAA’s favourite refrains in recent years has been that ‘Cambridge is changing’, as shown in a number of issues: Housing (CA66)‚ Workplace (CA67) and Play spaces (CA68) for example. We’ve also looked at the potential results of change – Delivering Design Quality (CA69) – and the route to achieving it – Teamwork (CA70). Change can sneak up on you; the sheer size and scale so large as to go unnoticed – hiding in plain sight until one’s new surroundings are seen with surprise. We have grown used to the sight of construction cranes. Some architects‚ regrettably‚ take delight in the scale and importance of their project as measured by the number of cranes on-site (AstraZeneca: eight). With so many cranes across the cityscape it is easy to lose track of the major areas of development in the city. Now feels like the right time to take stock and remind ourselves of several developments having the most impact on the city (a factor itself that can be measured in different ways). Projects underway right now involve some of the foremost architectural and engineering practices in the country
responsible for buildings that sit at the forefront of architectural and technological design. In future generations these changes‚ taken collectively‚ will be marked as one of the most challenging eras of Cambridge’s evolution and worthy of significant study (undoubtedly the students resident at Scroope Terrace will consider this period in great detail!). Whether this period will mark itself as the moment Cambridge emerges as a genuine 21st century city‚ or an era of uncontrolled expansion that damages Cambridge forever, remains to be seen but the sheer amount of expansion and change underway in Cambridge is unprecedented.
Whether this period will mark itself as the moment Cambridge emerges as a genuine 21st century city remains to be seen
© Tom Foggin
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CB1: A PRINCIPAL 1CAMBRIDGE GATEWAY INTO
The station area masterplan has been long in gestation (see CA23/24) but is finally taking shape. Criticised in local press (Cambridge News, Oct 2016), the masterplan is still a work in progress and whilst one can certainly draw conclusions on the varied quality of buildings completed to date, the success of the masterplan can not, truly, be judged until the work is complete. From infrastructure improvements at the station to the early evening atmosphere spilling out from hotels and cafés surrounding the new square, the character of the station area has been irrevocably altered for the foreseeable future.
© Tom Foggin
THE BIOMEDICAL 3 CAMPUS: THE CROSS DISCIPLINARY EPICENTRE
The unique relationship between Cambridge and its University results in a zone of interaction at both macro and micro scale at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (see: A Space to Grow, CA70.) Intellectually fractal in nature, the cross discipline interactions designed for each building: from AstraZeneca, to Capella, Addenbrooke’s Hospital to the soon-to-be relocated Papworth Hospital; extend in scale to apply to the site itself, reflecting the relationship and interaction between the university and the city; the Biomedical Campus acting as intellectual petri dish. Such growth is unprecedented since the hospital’s relocation to the site 40 years ago.
© Allies and Morrison
CAMBRIDGE NORTH NORTH WEST 2 4 STATION: THE NORTHERN CAMBRIDGE: LIVE TO GATEWAY EXPAND; EXPAND TO LIVE. Slowly but surely, the largest change in rail infrastructure in Cambridge’s history nears completion and is set to dramatically change how we move in and around Cambridge by rail. Science Park connections; crossing the city; alleviating road traffic to the centre; the reconnection of a regenerated northern quarter: the possibilities are incredible.
The 150-hectare development on the northern edge of Cambridge is a mixed use development encompassing research space, 3000 homes, nature and parkland, a school, hotel and shops. It is a city in microcosm; a new direction for the city (CA70) which one might even describe as a potential pressure relief valve for Cambridge.
© Oaker, courtesy of the University of Cambridge
GREATER 5 THE CAMBRIDGE CITY DEAL
There is unlikely to be a single phrase that would invoke more passionate responses from Cambridge citizens than “the City Deal”. The simple concept is to improve and rationalise transport around the city; if possible, also improving the function, environment and aesthetics of the city, correcting the mistakes of the past; theoretically acting as economic stimulus to improve business and enable the delivery of much needed housing. It hasn’t, if one is honest, had the easiest of journeys, nor will that journey improve in the near future; but we hope that, with continued encouragement, the City Deal will fulfil its destiny and reshape for the better how we experience travel through Cambridge.
City Deal schemes summarised in CA72 © Ze'ev Feigis
WEST CAMBRIDGE: 6 A NEW RESEARCH FRONTIER
Far from the mixed use paradise of the North West, this site focuses on 400,000m² of academia. The research, retail and assembly areas, energy and data centres form a key extension for the University. Across all their sites, perhaps this is most seen as the generator of the University’s future reputation as one of the foremost global research institutes.
Department of Civil Engineering © Grimshaw Architects
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The first term with our new students this year started with an act that came as a surprise to them: We sent them back to primary school. We even teamed them up with Year 3 pupils. We were sure that the experience would bring remarkable results. And we were right. When you begin to study architecture, one of the most important things that you learn is not calculating or designing. The first thing that our new students must understand is: You learn by doing. However, many students find this a huge jump from the more spoon-fed school environment that they are used to. Whilst they often squabble at our insistence that they need to ‘just get on with it’ and learn from their mistakes, they all seem to be able to cope remarkably well when faced with a real problem. This is why we sent our new first years to the recently-opened Cambridge University Primary School. They were supposed to develop some useful, inventive, and enjoyable additions to the school's new outdoor play space. Each year, the University of Cambridge first years spend their autumn term designing and building a real project with a local organisation. We strongly believe that doing live projects presents a fantastic opportunity to give them first-hand experience of the challenges and rewards that the practice of architecture brings with it. It also helps them to understand that architecture is a great tool for making a difference in society.
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FIRST YEAR PROJECT Why our new architects need to get their hands dirty on live projects WORDS JULIKA GITTNER
© Jim Ross
© Jim Ross
The particular challenge and joy of this current project lay in designing with, and for, children. We decided to involve the school’s Year 3 pupils right from the start to guide and inspire our students’ designs. The students and children collaborated on developing the briefs for six structures by building and inhabiting 1:1 makeshift mock-ups of their initial ideas in a one-day workshop. Not only was working with the children hugely inspiring to all of us, it was also a lot of fun! Together the students and the children developed a playground that was unique. There was a labyrinth of pipes that allowed for secret conversations, a field of portable performance clouds, a lookout platform on top of a hill, a climbable set of steps that forced rushing parents to linger near the school gates, a lightweight kit of parts that allowed the children to build their own structures, and a storage wall for the many treasures dug up during break time. Through a process of feedback from engineers, designers and the Year 3 children, the students developed their final designs that were made from various materials including bamboo, railway sleepers, bicycle inner tubes, and sections of
© Richard Marsham
© Jim Ross
We hope that working on live projects instills a natural desire in our students to try things drainpipe and intended to inspire activities like performing, digging, and hiding. As tutors of live projects, we relish the challenges a build exercise presents to us. In this case, working on the site of a brand-new school building meant that we uncovered many restrictions on how we could secure the structures to the ground throughout the designing and making stages. There were even more things to consider in terms of the safety of the children, both installing the structures on site as well as assessing and eliminating the potential risk of injury caused by using them. Having to adapt their precious designs to mitigate a safety risk, get around a budget restraint, or deal with the lead-in time of a material at the last minute can feel a little scary to the students. And yet each year, we are astounded by our first years' abilities to grow with the challenges of their projects and to learn to meet them with integrity, intelligence, and a genuine sense of humour. Beyond the opportunity to contribute to a social cause, we hope that working on live projects instills a natural desire in our students to test and to try things out in the real world, to get their hands dirty, and to learn from their mistakes and successes. In short, to learn architecture by doing it. The project was kindly supported by local organisations, in particular Cambridge Association of Architects, Bouygues, The University of Cambridge, Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry, Travis Perkins, Rainclear, Acacia Tree Surgery, Loo Teh SSW, Teh ACS, Mr P E & Mrs S K D Bridge, R Childs, M J Johnston, BB&C Architects, Mole Architects, Charlie and Lucy Markes, Emma Adams Architect, Hopkins Architects, Harvey Spack Field, Stanton Williams Architects, Halcyon Skin London, Paul Bailey, Douglas Lee, Hubert Un, Michael Ng of Foster and Partners, Francis Au of Arcadis, and Aldows Tang.
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IDEAS Improving links between education and practice through an evening of PechaKucha WORDS ZE’EV FEIGIS AND LUKE BUTCHER
Towards the end of last year, the CAA met with Professor Wendy Pullan, the Head of the Architecture Department at the University of Cambridge, to discuss ways to strengthen the ties between the two organizations; the Town and the Gown. Although existing relationships were in place, including the CAA’s sponsorship of an annual student prize at the school, it was agreed that further work could be done to improve the relationship between the academic and professional spheres of architecture in the city. To start this new and improved dialogue off, the University of Cambridge’s student
Architecture Society, ARCSOC, offered to host a monthly meeting of the CAA so that students and practitioners could meet. It was decided to combine the meeting with an event that would showcase local practices to the students and give them an idea of some of the work being done in and around the city. It would also provide practitioners with an opportunity to gain feedback on their current work from the next generation of aspiring architects. In November students, academics, and professionals assembled at Scroope Terrace to listen to six local practices take part in a PechaKucha-inspired event. Forgoing the
‘traditional’ format of showing 20 slides for 20 seconds each, practices were given a five-minute slot to present a single scheme. Of course, strict timekeeping was maintained, wary of what can happen when you give architects the freedom to speak to a captive audience for an unspecified amount of time! The over-arching idea we asked each participant to refer to was 'Local Character': Is this an idea which preoccupies them before approaching a site, was it relevant to the development of the project, and how consideration of this factor informed aspects of the project.
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After the presentations, a short Q&A session allowed members of the audience to give feedback on the schemes to the practitioners. Although not all projects were in Cambridge, it would be hard to argue that they were not of Cambridge in many ways; with an emphasis on reflecting the spirit of the place coming across strongly in each presentation. The evening concluded with informal drinks and nibbles, where students and professionals had the chance to meet and discuss, exchange ideas in a more relaxed setting than the formal presentations, and hopefully build new relationships that will continue through the coming years. The evening was deemed to be a success by all that attended and it is hoped that further events planned will help to strengthen this new partnership. The six practices which participated were:
All images © CAA
February Phillips, 5th Studio Trinity College, New Court Renovation: The project provided 169 sustainable student rooms within a Grade I Listed building and set a benchmark for the reconciliation of the otherwise apparently-conflicting ambitions of sustainability and heritage.
Ian Bramwell, Mole Secular Retreat: Acting as the executive architects on the Secular Retreat by Peter Zumthor , Living Architecture's latest project in South Devon, a new bold design constructed by rammed concrete produced on site to resemble local stone bridges.
Andrew Drummond, RH Partnership Postgraduate Housing in North West Cambridge: A new low-energy, BREEAM 'Excellent' standard, contemporary accommodation for 325 postgraduate students in units around three open-sided courts in the new university masterplan.
Richard Owers, NRAP Clare College Old Court: A reworking of Cambridge’s second-oldest college, with interventions into the historic building fabric.
Jeremy Ashworth, Ashworth Parkes Architects Country Garden Studios: A set of ‘agricultural’ buildings between the garden of the main house and meadow beyond (Northamptonshire).
Patrick Ward, Haysom Ward Miller Elm End: A contemporary-styled home that takes its cue from its site, orientation, and location on the North Norfolk Coast.
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Four new boathouses have recently been completed; three in Cambridge and one in Ely. An extension to Christ’s College boathouse is in progress and others have recently been extended and refurbished. Cambridge Architecture took a walk down by the riverside
Combined Colleges Boathouse © Image courtesy of Andrew Hatfield
College colours and crests. Flags rippling in the wind – boathouses are immediately identifiable to crews on the river and people walking and cycling along the Cam. Arguably, Cambridge should excel at two building types above all others: Colleges and boathouses. But what makes a good boathouse?
PAST MASTERY Historically, college boat clubs shared facilities with commercial boatbuilders. When rowing was introduced to the city by the University of Cambridge in the early 19th century, the north bank of the river opposite Midsummer Common remained undeveloped except for a handful of boatyards. Colleges commissioned boats from builders such as Searle & Sons, ‘Boat Builders to Her Majesty’. The boats were kept and cleaned at the boatyards and, in the mid19th century, colleges fitted out club rooms on the premises.
Early drawings and photographs of the boatyards establish some of the characteristics that we see in the boathouses today. Typically two storey, with boat storage and construction happening at ground-floor level, they are accessed through large doors facing the river. Upper-floor rooms are more domestic in character, connected to the riverbank via balconies and external staircases. Originally, most were clad in horizontal timber; today, this is best referenced by Jesus College boathouse with its dark-stained timber walls. Super-graphic painted lettering announced the yards’ names. Trinity built the first dedicated college boathouse in 1872, having previously leased ooms from Searle & Sons, and with it, the new boathouses took on a more permanent character. The original Gonville and Caius College boathouse was designed by WM Fawcett, architect of several notable Cambridge buildings, including Hughes Hall and the Cavendish Laboratory.
“A History of The First Trinity Boat Club” by W W Rouse Ball, Bowes & Bowes, Cambridge, 1908
At Caius, Fawcett combined red-brick walls with a clay-tiled roof and pargeted and embossed render to the gable end facing the river. Whilst in many ways referring back to the historic boatyard buildings, the first boathouses thus had similarities to some of the larger houses being built at the time in Cambridge: they were as much ‘house’ as ‘boat’. Jump ahead 150 years or so, and the original boathouses are now no longer able to cope with shifts in daily college life.
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Changing, shower and toilet facilities are now required for men’s and women’s crews. Land training has become more important, requiring space for gyms, rowing machines, weights, and even indoor rowing tanks. Modern students expect to be warm but, with too many boathouses having burned down, boiler rooms have taken the place of open fires. And in the absence of the original on-site boat builders, maintenance and workshop staff need working areas. Faced with these demands, many Colleges have in recent years extended and refurbished their boathouses. A few of the older boathouses still appear largely untouched, at least externally – notably Peterhouse, Jesus, Clare and Pembroke – but most have been visibly altered, though not always for the better.
GONVILLE AND CAIUS COLLEGE
When faced with its own boathouse project, Gonville and Caius College took a more drastic and ultimately more successful approach; that of demolition and rebuilding. Obviously this was not going to be easy on a riverside conservation area site in central Cambridge and a primary question in the planning process was whether or not demolition was justifiable at all. Although the original boathouse was neither listed nor flagged as a building of local interest, it was recognised as contributing to the character of the riverfront and was much loved by the college and current and previous members of the college rowing club. The justification for its demolition was aided by a report by Beacon Planning, making
The first floor space at BB+Cs Gonville and Caius boathouse © Richard Fraser Photography
In the absence of the original on-site boat builders, maintenance and workshop staff need working areas
Sensitive to its surroundings: Gonville and Caius Boathouse in the evening © Richard Fraser Photography
the case on a number of grounds. In terms of function, a new building could accommodate more boat storage by making the ground floor taller, allowing greater vertical stacking; a new building would also provide far better facilities for all members and visitors. Structurally, the old building had such problems that little original fabric would remain after repairs and alterations. As the facilities are sometimes used by crews from outside the college, there was additionally a case for public benefit. The next question related to appearance. It’s fair to say that the question of architectural style elicits strong opinions in architects and non-architects alike, and debates are often rather lively in conservation areas. There are certainly good examples of modern(ist) boathouses, particularly the combined Corpus Christi, Girton, Sidney Sussex, and Wolfson boathouse by David Roberts, the only listed post-war boathouse. Queen’s College boathouse by Design Group Cambridge is also worth noting, as it sits nearby to the west of Caius boathouse, just beyond the terrace of houses at Boathouse Court by the same architects. Furthermore, Caius boathouse is opposite the historic Fort St George pub and adjacent to Peterhouse boathouse, a traditional building of local interest from 1928. For a conservation area, its physical context is therefore relatively mixed. Of the four new boathouses, Gonville and Caius College boathouse perhaps makes the strongest style statement. Caius held an invited competition involving four practices: BB+C,
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GONVILLE & CAIUS COMPETITION ENTRIES
© Belsize Architects
© Saunders Boston Architects
© Tuke Manton Architects
Belsize, Saunders Boston, and Tuke Manton. Cambridge-based BB+C Architects won with a design proposal that was aesthetically faithful to the existing boathouse, which by this time included the original Fawcett building plus extensions. The BB+C solution was selected in preference to more contemporary designs: In making direct reference to the appearance of the original building, it would remain recognisable to current members and alumni and the setting would retain its character. Alongside college support, it was a popular decision with Cambridge residents and rowers, with many letters supporting the traditional appearance and familiarity of design features. One praised its sensitive, sympathetic and appropriate design, in comparison to “recent inappropriate architectural experimentation along the river bank.” Planning and conservation officers supported the design and one commentator was “appalled that the design and conservation panel indicated a preference for a contemporary rather than traditional design”, preferring the boat club to be “based in a building whose design reflects its long and distinguished history.” A further assertion was that “there is no question that a design that does not embody the aesthetics compatible with the club’s history will adversely affect the funding available for its execution”. These quotes highlight some of the complexities of negotiating the approval and construction of a new building in a sensitive conservation area; it is no mean feat for an architect to garner such a level of support and BB+C Architects should be congratulated for this significant accomplishment. The Gonville and Caius College boathouse is not a replica; instead it uses the original building as a starting point for the new design. It consists essentially of three parts: The main boathouse is set at an angle to the river in order to maximise space on the river bank for the longest boats and is slightly higher than the original building. The riverside elevation has been rationalised in order to create three equal-sized sets of double doors at ground-floor level and five matching windows at the first floor. The ground floor is allocated to boat storage and maintenance and the first floor houses a gym and changing facilities. The side boathouse to the east recreates one of the original extensions, albeit with an additional storey, equivalent in scale and form to the main boathouse. This part of the building contains further storage at ground floor and a new club and coaching room above. A large balcony unites the two parts and includes a central foyer and staircase, an office, and disabled facilities. The third part of the complex comprises a Victorian residential building at the end of Ferry Path – behind the boathouse – which has been
Comfort at Caius © Richard Fraser Photography
It is no mean feat for an architect to garner such a level of support refurbished as accommodation for graduate students and married couples; at one point this building was mooted for use as part of the training facilities but was successfully retained as residential accommodation more in keeping with the area. At the rear of the boathouse, a secure service yard has been created, which addresses historic issues inherent with the steeply sloping site and level change, allowing for vehicular access from Trafalgar Lane. A history of anti-social behaviour on the site has led to further controls: Lockable gates to the front and rear, closing off the riverside from both directions. The boathouse has recognisable red brick walls, pale blue/green doors and window frames, natural clay roof tiles, and pargeted rendered panels to the end gables, the riverside gable now incorporating the College crest. Chimneys have been reinterpreted as powder coated aluminium natural ventilation terminals and a third forms a new clock tower. The detailing is crisp and ordered, with exposed structural elements to the main spaces engineered by Andrew Firebrace Partnership structural engineers: The gym roof includes a long steel-framed triangular beam running the full length of the main boathouse roof, with a complementary long rooflight introducing natural daylight into the centre of the plan. The gym and club room are both high quality spaces with the latter lined with timber acoustic panelling and glazed display cases for rowing memorabilia. In this way, the Caius boathouse establishes itself as a marker of quality along the river, taking Cambridge rowing facilities to a new level.
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Combined Colleges Boathouse: New forms for old functions © Andrew Hatfield
COMBINED COLLEGES BOATHOUSE Further east, beyond the Elizabeth Way road bridge but still within the Central Conservation Area, sits R H Partnership’s new ‘Combined Colleges’ boathouse for Churchill, King’s, Selwyn and the Leys School. This boathouse replaces a nondescript late-20thcentury industrial shed. No-one was going to miss the industrial shed, least of all the residents of the Victorian terraced houses on the opposite side of the Cam at Riverside. With no obvious historic point of reference and with a recent move towards a contemporary re-landscaping of the urban realm along Riverside, the Combined Colleges boathouse clearly expresses its structural parti and organisation within a contemporary design. A robust floodproof base of brick and concrete establishes a horizontal datum, above which sits a lighter storey of steel, timber and glass. With its long
Indoor rowing at the Combined Colleges Boathouse © Andrew Hatfield
Combined storage © Andrew Hatfield
monopitch roof and striated layers, the side elevation seems to doff its cap to Aalto’s Maison Carré. The four clubs are identifiable by crests sitting above the four principal boat store doors; the fifth bay is set back and leads to the workshop. The lobby is reached via an external staircase and deep balcony, with a forked steel column marking the entrance
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CAMBRIDGESHIRE ROWING ASSOCIATION/ CAMROWERS BOATHOUSE Next door to the Combined Colleges boathouse, and almost complete at the time of writing, is Saunders Boston’s Cambridgeshire Rowing Association/ Camrowers boathouse, providing much-needed new-built facilities where previously there were none. It references the materials of the adjacent boathouse, with a single-storey steel frame wrapped in brickwork at lower level, timber cladding above, and finished with a simple steel roof. Most of the area is allocated to boat storage, with a tea room, training area, and changing rooms in one corner. It may be the smaller of the two but this building is a noble demonstration that rowing can be for all, with funding from numerous sources: Cambridge City Council Section
and expressing the steel frame within. The column is wrapped where people might come into contact with it, reducing a large building down to a human scale and introducing the joinery elements of the upper storey. The forked design of this column also alludes to the rigging of the boats. Upstairs to the front of the building, a large gym is lined with rowing machines facing the river; if necessary, this can be subdivided by a sliding screen. Timber brise-soleil shade the glazed screens which open onto a suspended balcony, whilst air handling equipment means the doors can remain closed during busy training sessions, keeping noise to a minimum for the surrounding residents. Male and female changing rooms occupy the centre of the plan and four separate club rooms face north across the lower part of the boat store. On the river elevation, R H Partnership worked with glass artist Kate Maestri in the design of the balcony balustrade, a silk-screened pattern of stripes evoking the elegant movement of oars through the water.
Simple and effective © Saunders Boston Architects
106 planning contributions, the Landfill Communities Fund, Sport England, the D G Marshall of Cambridge Trust, club funds, member contributions, and fundraising.
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY BOAT CLUB ELY BOATHOUSE At the other end of the spectrum – and indeed, the other end of the river – is the new Cambridge University Boat Club Ely Boathouse by Jeremy Bailey Architects with Baynes and Mitchell. Whilst the University retains its Cambridge presence with the Goldie boathouse – now the oldest – this is used for land training, with a physiotherapy treatment centre and offices. The serious water training happens on the River Great Ouse in Ely; less crowded, the conditions tougher, and with an uninterrupted straight section of wide river conveniently matching the length of the Boat Race. The Ely Boathouse provides muchneeded new facilities for the both heavyweight and lightweight classes of the men’s and women’s clubs of the University of Cambridge. An architectural competition was held for a site slightly further north than the final building,
involving Jeremy Bailey Architects with Baynes and Mitchell, Hopkins Architects, the Manser Practice, Mole Architects, and Panter Hudspith. The competition was won by Jeremy Bailey Architects with Baynes and Mitchell. Jeremy Bailey had also previously designed the extensions to the Goldie boathouse in Cambridge, completed in 2003 and 2013. The new boathouse is located on a prominent site to the east of Ely known as Fore Mill Wash, off Queen Adelaide Way. Here, the city gives way to the landscape of the Fens, with the Middle Fen Bank flood defence separating river from road. The building is a prominent marker in this expansive landscape. Indeed, this was one of the starting points for the design: to create a sculptural presence in the landscape, with the roof being imagined as a lighter folded plane sitting above a massive plinth carved into the flood defence bank. This established the familiar arrangement of boat storage with rower facilities above. An early concept model illustrates the design, with the folded roof planes referencing a bird’s wings flitting across the water.
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The view from the river © Jeremy Bailey Architects
At the same time, the roof formalises a less abstract relationship, strongly present on the site: A diagonal axis between the building site and Ely Cathedral. Whilst the building sits square to the river, this diagonal line of view has driven the final roof form. To say that the planning approval was hard-won is an understatement. There were hundreds of objections to the new boathouse, mainly related to a nearby Site of Special Scientific Interest. The landscape is part of a corridor between the breeding and feeding grounds of Bitterns and Marsh Harriers, as well as a haven for otters and water voles. In recognition, the design includes a flood compensation pond, reed bed habitat and areas of nesting and foraging habitat for birds as well as invertebrates. Being so remote, infrastructure also provided challenges, with no on-site mains water, electricity or gas supplies and no mains drainage. Water and electricity were routed to the site over significant distances, an LPG store created, and an on-site sewage treatment plant installed to break down waste for safe release into the water course. The flood bank was manipulated to form a new entrance from Queen Adelaide Way but the original idea
Ely Boathouse in use © Alan Bennett, Media Imaging Solutions
of burying the lower storey in the bank was reconsidered and it now sits at ground level. Structural design was completed by Smith and Wallwork, with a clear layered arrangement: a lower grid of reinforced concrete columns (on concrete piles) supports a reinforced concrete slab at first floor level; above this ‘table’ are fragmented cross-walls of reinforced brick, topped by a folded roof of cross-laminated timber panels with concealed steel beams. The structure generally forms the finished surfaces, with the sense of a robust building that will endure.
Clarity of Thought: Structural sketches from the engineering team © Smith and Wallwork
The spatial arrangement is by now familiar: ground-floor boat storage with a first-floor level conceived as a series of open-plan overlapping spaces of defined and undefined function. This allows the social life of the building to develop
The concept © Alan Mitchell, Baynes & Mitchell Architects
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over time, focusing around a communal kitchen and meeting/eating space, with dramatic views towards Ely Cathedral and to the east over the Fens. Pending funding, the intent is for an additional bay of storage with roof terrace and for the wet launch area to be enclosed beneath caretaker’s accommodation within a detached building located to the north. Considered together, the four boathouses share common characteristics, yet they illustrate a variety of architectural means to achieve their common goal. One thing is for sure though: rowing is now firmly established as a leisure pursuit – and not just for the elite.
ELY COMPETITION ENTRIES
© Panter Hudspith Architects A visualisation of the new boathouse for Christ's College © BB+C Architects
© Hopkins Architects
© The Manser Practice
© Mole Architects
GONVILLE AND CAIUS COLLEGE BOATHOUSE Architect: BB+C Architects Ltd Quantity Surveyor: Sherriff Tiplady Associates Structural Engineer: Andrew Firebrace Partnership Services Engineer: Max Fordham LLP CDM Coordinator: CDM Contract Services Contractor: Cocksedge Building Contractors Ltd
Main Contractor: Patrick B Doyle Ltd CAMBRIDGESHIRE ROWING ASSOCIATION/CAMROWERS BOATHOUSE Architect: Saunders Boston Main Contractor: Millcam Construction Structural Engineer: Andrew Firebrace Partnership
COMBINED COLLEGES BOATHOUSE Architect: R H Partnership Archaeologist: Cambridgeshire County Council Quantity Surveyor: Gleeds Health and Safety: Gleeds Cost Management Glass Artist: Kate Maestri Mechanical and Electrical: MLM
Structural and Civil Engineer: Peter Brett Associates
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY BOAT CLUB ELY BOATHOUSE Architects: Jeremy Bailey Architects with Baynes and Mitchell Architects Project Managers: Martindale McAndrew Cost Consultants: Aecom Structural Engineers: Smith and Wallwork Services Engineers: Environmental Design Associates Enabling Works Contractors: Askam Civil Engineering Boathouse Contractors: Morgan Sindall
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CFCI AWARDS 2016
CAMBRIDGE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION AWARDS 2016 The three building categories in this year’s Cambridge Design and Construction Awards were full of innovative and inspiring submissions. In the end though, there could be only one winner in each and they were announced at at St Catharine's College in a new style of ceremony WORDS MEREDITH BOWLES INTRODUCED BY TOM FOGGIN
The number of entries reached staggering heights for the 2016 Cambridge Design and Construction Awards, the annual awards presented by the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry in association with Cambridge City Council and media partner Cambridge Evening News. The awards reflect the impressive range of projects completed in the past 12 months and this year, the ceremony, held at St Catharine's College's impressive McGrath Centre, marked a departure from previous events, when the awards were presented at the annual CFCI dinner. This year was a separate event where architects presented their shortlisted projects in the first half, with the awards in the second half after a jovial reception buzzing with optimism and healthy competition. The general consensus seemed to be that every project presented was deserving of an award, and even the projects that didn't make the shortlist were of a standard other areas in the country could only hope to achieve. Credit where it is due, the CFCI organisers created a truly exciting event, offering a chance for architects, consultants, and contractors from across the industry to come together and celebrate their extraordinary achievements in Cambridge over the past 12 months.
© Julian Claxton Photography
The winning entries for each of the three building categories are presented on the following pages but we must also recognise the other awards presented by the CFCI during the evening. COMMENDATION – BEST NEW BUILDING UNDER £2M The Potting Shed, Jesus College PiP, formerly Once Architects , with Paneltech Systems Ltd
Part of a series of buildings in the gardens at Jesus College, consisting of a replica Victorian greenhouse, an office extension, and a tractor store; this isn’t intended as a sculpture, although it clearly also functions as one. It is in fact a potting shed. The judges enjoyed the calculated whimsy of this building. The form is designed around the relaxing act of potting, with an ergonomic and efficient layout for working. It’s a bit of fun perhaps, but for all that, it sits well as a structure and definitely adds something to this working corner of the Fellow’s garden.
COMMENDATION – BEST CONSERVATION, ALTERATION OR EXTENSION TO AN EXISTING BUILDING The Butterfly House, Gwydir Street Ashworth Parkes Architects
Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by Cambridge Regional College)
This is an internal re-working and extension to a small Cambridge terraced house that packs in more than seems possible; it’s stylish, practical, clever, and sits well as a contemporary addition within the conservation area. How can a single house compete with the scale of some of the larger buildings? Whilst the two are incomparable in terms of orders of challenge, the judges wished to commend this scheme for the contribution it makes to ordinary Cambridge housing. It shows what a good architect can bring to the internal qualities of the house as well as how new design can work within a historic context.
Michael Gough of Waterworx Plumbing Craftsmanship Award
Sculptor Corin Johnson for his work at St John’s College Young Professional of the Year
Tom Foggin of R H Partnership Architects Engineering / Sustainability Project of the Year
The David Attenborough Building, University of Cambridge – architect Nicholas Hare and contractor Kier Group
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NEWSAWARDS 2016 CFCI
WINNER – BEST NEW BUILDING UNDER £2M NELSON COURT, TRAFALGAR ROAD STUDIO 24 ARCHITECTS / PATRICK B DOYLE This is a development of housing on a tight urban backland site. The architects have not only managed to design a commercial scheme that achieves 15 one- and two-bed units for short-term let , but does so in a way that creates a small community around a successful interior courtyard. Each house is unique and all would feel good to be in. The judges were all taken by surprise at the experience of this building, which is hard to appreciate in the photographs. There are many small backland developments that are cramped and uninspiring. This one has been thought through in great detail, has a good sense of scale, and is an intelligent and creative response. A terrific and deserving winner. © Adelina Iliev Photography
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CFCI AWARDS 2016
WINNER – BEST NEW BUILDING OVER £2M COWAN COURT, CHURCHILL COLLEGE 6A ARCHITECTS / SDC BUILDERS This addition to Churchill College provides 68 rooms over three floors, in a contemporary version of the courts of the original Shepherd Robson building. Constructed out of, and clad in timber, the subtle articulation of the façade and play on expectation makes for a clever and engaging building. The judges were unanimous in declaring this building the winner. This is an understated building that is a rich addition to the College, designed with restraint, surprise and great wit. © Johan Dehlin
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CFCI AWARDS 2016
WINNER – BEST CONSERVATION, ALTERATION OR EXTENSION TO AN EXISTING BUILDING THE DAVID ATTENBOROUGH BUILDING, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE NICHOLAS HARE ARCHITECTS / KIER CONSTRUCTION
This was considered unanimously as an outright winner. The way in which the spirit of the brutalist building has been preserved whilst at the same time transforming the way the building now functions is a real achievement. The sustainability embedded in the design is everywhere: an increase in natural light, the creation of new routes through the building, the improved thermal performance. The building’s interiors have changed from positively inhospitable to modern, welcoming places to work, and a new space at the centre has been created that unites the various functions of the new building. Brilliant. © Nicolas Hare Architects
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© RIBA East
RIBA EAST STUDENT MENTORING LAUNCHES IN CAMBRIDGE A new partnership between RIBA East and the University of Cambridge brings added benefits for architecture students
© Sherief Mohamed
WORDS DELYTH TURNER-HARRISS
RIBA East is working with the Department of Architecture at Cambridge University to offer a student mentoring scheme for third year Part One undergraduate RIBA student members. This is the only RIBA-validated architecture school in the East region. The mentoring scheme has grown from an initiative developed in other RIBA regions and has been piloted here for the first time, earlier this year. The scheme is not a work placement scheme, nor does it provide additional tuition; the purpose of the mentoring scheme is to give students
an insight into practice and to enhance their learning experience. In 2016/17, nearly 900 students and 450 mentors took part in the RIBA student mentoring scheme nationally. Staff in eight of our regional offices run the RIBA student mentoring scheme across 23 schools of architecture, matching students with volunteer mentors. The scheme provides students with an insight into the architectural profession through the input of RIBA Chartered Members and Chartered Practices.
The mentoring commitment is approximately three sessions of two hours organised over a defined period (each programme is adapted to fit the course structures and interests of participating schools). The scheme is launched with ‘Meet Your Mentor’ presentation events and later evaluated with both students and professionals together.
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ARCHITECTS FROM THE FOLLOWING PRACTICES AND COMPANIES ARE SUPPORTING THE SCHEME IN 2016/17: • BB&C Architects • Cowper Griffith Architects • Feilden+Mawson • 5th Studio • Granta Architects • Freeland Rees Roberts Architects • MCW Architects • Mole Architects • Saunders Boston • Ze’ev Feigis
The RIBA’s student mentoring programme is a great way to share experiences, tips, and working methods. We believe this initiative offers students an important insight into the ways in which good business can respond to and enhance the creative process © Martine Hamilton-Knight
Mentors are usually RIBA Chartered Architects. Mentoring is eligible for CPD points and Chartered Practices may apply as mentors. Mentors’ responsibilities A mentor should seek to: • Demonstrate design in practice • Offer an insight into the business of architecture and experience of practice • Provide support on professionally-related matters • Introduce the concept of professionalism and the value of a professional institute Meetings must cover: • Introduction to working life at the practice • A successful project and how it is presented • Follow-through of a current project Activities will vary according to the needs of the mentee and the opportunities available through the mentor’s practice. Beneficial experience could include site visits, meetings with clients, contractors, or other specialists, liaison with local authorities, and business activities of the practice. The individual schools validate the mentored students’ participation in the scheme. Mentoring is a great way to support the next generation of architects, engage with academia, and reflect on practice. It is also useful networking and CPD. For further information, please contact Delyth Turner-Harriss, RIBA East 01223 566285 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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