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Gehry, Jencks and Microsoft converge on Cambridge


US architect Frank Gehry is understood to be designing a third Maggie Jencks cancer care centre, this time in Cambridge.

Earlier this month it emerged that the designer of the Bilbao Guggenheim had been commissioned by Charles Jencks to build a second such building on a site in Dundee, after the first celebrated pioneering scheme by Richard Murphy Architects was built in Edinburgh. The Cambridge building will be Gehry's first in England, and he is understood to have been in contact with local practices to secure an executive architect for the job.

One such practice, Bland Brown and Cole, said it had been asked to pitch for the job via a telephone call from Addenbrookes Hospital, operating on behalf of the Maggie Jencks Trust. The practice wrote back but has heard nothing since.

Meanwhile in the city, rmjm is designing a computer laboratory for the University of Cambridge with a research facility part-funded by us giant Microsoft. The 10,000m2, £11 million building, which will be the university's first on its new West Cambridge campus, will cater for 300 students. The three-storey low-energy building will have research, library and catering facilities as well as the embedded Microsoft research space. Construction will start next year.

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