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‘A layering of history’: Stanton Williams’ Cambridge business school extension

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The new building for Cambridge Judge Business School is the latest addition to the site of the old Addenbrooke’s hospital

The four-storey building, which replaces two former nurses’ hostels, provides a host of new spaces for the school’s Executive Education programme. 

It sits on a complex site, forming an extension of the Grade II-listed old Addenbrooke’s hospital, first established in 1766. This Georgian building has been extended twice, and in 1866 underwent a major reconstruction with a new facade designed by Matthew Digby Wyatt. When the hospital moved to the south of the city, the original building sat empty for eight years, until in 1995 architect John Outram converted the ward blocks to be the home for the newly formed Judge Business School.

Externally, Stanton Williams’ project is designed to reference Digby Wyatt’s original masonry facades in terms of scale and rhythm.

00 hero sw cambridge judge business school ∏hufton+crow 046

00 hero sw cambridge judge business school ∏hufton+crow 046

Source: Hufton + Crow

Architect’s view

This new space brings together all parts of the Cambridge Judge Business School community, enabling them to solve real-world problems with greater diversity and creativity.

As well as providing flexible education spaces for the school’s Executive Education programme, the centre contains additional teaching, conferencing, office breakout and dining spaces, reflecting the evolving culture of the university and the changing requirements of learning environments. Through the physical juxtaposition of old, new and the more recent past, the project demonstrates a complex layering of history which embodies the identity of the school while expressing its contemporary needs.

Use of strong colour and refined materials, juxtaposed with exposed structural concrete, references the bold colour, rich materials and exposed structure of both the 19th-century building and the 1990s Outram transformation. The resulting campus creates a unified identity that transcends individual period styles.

Site expansion 01 883x200

Site expansion 01 883x200

Internal spaces have been designed to promote interaction between students, delegates and staff through the provision of generous foyer and circulation spaces. This engaging environment provides a sequence of spaces of different scales and characters, all with a strong sense of materiality and access to views.

The centre is on track to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating. It utilises an innovative strategy of distributed ventilation with the incorporation of 60 small heat-recovery units within the building envelope to create a ‘breathing façade’. This use of the Trox system is the first of its type in the UK.

The Simon Sainsbury Centre embodies the identity of the school while fulfilling its contemporary needs, adding a further layer to the progressive transformation of this historic site.

Gavin Henderson, director, Stanton Williams

Groundfloorplan annotated

Groundfloorplan annotated

Ground floor plan

Project data

Location Cambridge
Client University of Cambridge
Completion October 2017
Student occupation January 2018
Construction cost £21.5 million
Gross internal floor area 5,506m²
Cost per square metre £3,898
Strategic project manager and funders’ representative Stuart A Johnson Consulting Ltd
Project manager and supervisor Currie & Brown
Main contractor SDC Builders Ltd
Architect Stanton Williams
Civil & structural engineer AKT II
Building services engineer Arup
Quantity surveyor Gardiner & Theobald 

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