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Contest process starts for £7m dining hall at Cambridge College

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Architects are being invited to apply for an invited competition to design a  £7 million dining hall at Homerton College, Cambridge

Organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC), the competition seeks proposals for a 1,400m² ‘emblematic centrepiece’ for the  University of Cambridge college.

Interested studios have until 19 August to request a place on the contest’s 25-strong longlist. Longlisted entrants will be asked to respond to an initial brief, highlighting their understanding of the project, their experience and their team. Up to six practices will then be invited to participate in the contest’s design stage and attend interviews.

Planned to start on site in 2018, the project will deliver a ‘spectacular’ 300-person dining hall for the college, which received its royal charter six years ago.

The landmark building is intended as a new ‘centrepiece’ for the leafy 10ha campus (pictured), which already features a range of Gothic Revival, Arts and Crafts, Modernist and contemporary buildings.

Homerton College bursar Deborah Griffin said: ‘We are fortunate in having an expansive leafy site away from the centre of the city, and this project will release the potential of the grounds and honour the college.

‘In recent years, Homerton has become increasingly known for its sociable and friendly atmosphere; we are ambitious to express this in our architecture, to have a building that reflects the college’s values and energies.’

MRC chair Malcolm Reading added: ‘This is a fascinating project because it reflects a contemporary preoccupation shared by many leading organisations: how to balance the formal with the informal?

‘The college is seeking a team that can create spaces that encourage everyday sociability and serendipitous connections, and also distinguished set-piece ceremonial events.’

Commenting on the open call, he said: ‘We are always looking for fresh talent; we value appetite and enthusiasm, so any architect specially drawn to this project, who has the relevant experience, skills and team, is welcome to get in touch with us now in order to be considered for the longlist.

‘While we respect architects’ panache and confidence, please note this offer does not guarantee you a place automatically.’

Homerton College was founded in 1768 in London, relocating to Cambridge in the 1890s, and is today one of the only Cambridge colleges able to house all undergraduates on-site for four years.

A new £8.5 million accommodation block designed by Martindales Architects will complete on the campus later this year.

A competition to masterplan an extension to the University of Cambridge’s 28ha biomedical campus nearby was launched earlier this month.

How to apply

Interested companies are invited to email a ‘declaration of interest’ to MRC before 19 August.

Contact details

Jayne Broomhall
Malcolm Reading Consultants
Second Floor
29 Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7831 2998
Email: homerton@malcolmreading.co.uk



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