Valerie Bennett
Valerie Bennett
Valerie Bennett
Valerie Bennett

Opus One

When we were appointed alongside Hawkins \ Brown architects to regenerate and extend this structure in the heart of Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus, the challenge was to reintroduce a sense of continuity and coherence between the various existing buildings, whilst upgrading the facilities and modernising the aesthetics.

The newly extended, U-shaped building houses a number of supporting facilities including administrative offices, as well as acoustically sealed music rooms and leisure amenities for the students such as a bar, refectory and music venue. An internal ramped ‘street’ runs through the building, providing a linear route and clear connection between old and new.

The existing structure comprised in-situ concrete with two-way slabs spanning onto downstand beams, supported by concrete columns and brickwork cladding. Our alterations included the heightening of the entrance area by removing transfer beams and inserting a new steel column above an additional ground beam which spans between existing pad foundations.

We added emphasis to the entrance by providing a three-storey steel canopy supported on piled foundations due to the point loads. A large change in levels was cleverly picked up by the new internal ramp which descends to meet the entrance. We also removed a section of wall on one side of the existing building to allow a point of connection with the street.

The construction of the extension building was simplified as far as possible and comprised another in-situ frame with reinforced concrete flat slabs and columns, bearing onto pad foundations. Due to the potential movement of the ground following the removal of existing made ground in a car park area, we specified suspended ground floor slabs, except in those areas where the ground was sufficiently compacted already. Timber was chosen for a cladding material on the upper floors, with brickwork below, this doubled as a rainscreen and a method of solar shading, with the slats designed to continue over window openings.

Modernisation of a leisure and administration building for Anglia Ruskin University

Cambridge, UK
Anglia Ruskin University
Hawkins \ Brown
£ 5 million
4,000 m²