The Simon Sainsbury Centre
Our strong relationship with Stanton Williams has been proven across a range of projects, some of the most successful of which, such as the Stirling Prize-winning Sainsbury Laboratory, have been in the Cambridge area. At the Simon Sainsbury Centre the challenge was to create a masterplan for the expansion of Judge Business School on the Old Addenbrooke’s Hospital site, in keeping with the grand architecture of the existing structure.
The location of the building in Cambridge’s historical city centre brought many constraints; we worked around these to deliver a mixture of lecture spaces, teaching areas and offices via several new-build structures that meet the needs of this growing institution whilst remaining sensitive towards its surroundings.
Liaison with residents in nearby buildings was important, as was monitoring the transfer of ground-borne vibrations from equipment and machinery into these structures: neighbouring staff and students needed to be able to continue with their day-to-day activities, unaffected in terms of access, noise, dust and vibrations. As well as dealing with delicate, aging materials, we also had to consider scientific equipment within the buildings, assessing ground movement to minimise impact upon the functions of these departments.
In the Tennis Court Road section of the site, the design included large-span auditoria at ground level, with offices above. A featured atrium connects the new building with the existing structure, providing a light, airy space at the entrance to the building and uses a sculpted concrete frame set at centres which match the structural rhythm of the hospital building.
The new building has been constructed hard up against the highway boundary with the narrow road to the rear of the site where two existing hostel buildings occupied much of the site. This restricted site access required careful phasing for demolition and construction, whilst utilising the absolute maximum of the site footprint being occupied by the new building.
Expansion of the facilities at a former hospital in Cambridge, and conversion into an educational centre
University of Cambridge