Newnham College exterior shot
© Dennis Gilbert / VIEW
Newnham College exterior shot 2
© Dennis Gilbert / VIEW
Newnham College exterior shot 3
© Dennis Gilbert / VIEW
Newnham College interior shot
© Dennis Gilbert / VIEW

Dorothy Garrod Building

We have been working with Walters & Cohen to design a new residential-led mixed-use building for Newnham College in Cambridge, providing private en suite rooms for students, as well as a new Porters’ Lodge, teaching spaces, offices, café, conference facilities and communal areas.

The site was previously home to three buildings of up to four storeys (Fawcett, Strachey and Porters’ Lodge), all interlinked with common circulation areas. These were demolished, with only a section of the Fawcett Building retained. This has been integrated into the design in a way that protects it from damage without affecting stability. Also of consideration were large trees to the north of the site that have root protection zones, limiting the works that could be done in that area.

A key constraint to this project has been the college’s desire to continue its day-to-day activities as normal throughout construction of the new building, meaning that measures had to be put in place to minimise disruption wherever possible.

The new building is a four-storey C-shaped structure with a one-storey basement, seamlessly integrated with the retained section of the Fawcett Building; a movement joint between the new and existing structure accommodates horizontal and vertical deflections.

Predominantly a reinforced concrete frame, there is also be a single-storey steel frame on the third floor to form two pavilions that are set back from the edges of the building to limit visual impact at street level. To maintain consistency with the rest of Newnham College, the building is clad in a masonry façade with hit-and-miss brickwork at ground floor level to provide natural ventilation.

Residential-led mixed-use college building in Cambridge featuring demolition, retention and new build

Cambridge, London

Newnham College

Walters & Cohen



6,900 m²

  • 2019 Brick Award – Supreme Winner
  • 2019 Brick Award – Medium Housing Development
  • 2019 Brick Award – Craftsmanship
  • 2019 RIBA National Award 
  • 2019 RIBA Regional Award
  • 2019 Schueco Excellence Award – Commendation
  • 2019 RIBA East Building of the Year