The Dorothy Garrod Building, Newnham College
Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Information about this scheme
By demolishing the tired and unsustainable Strachey building and conversion of an existing building into an inviting porters’ lodge, a new front facing the university’s arts’ and humanities’ Sedgwick Site has been created. Not only are the Garrod Building’s ground floor facilities open to members of the university but also to the general public.
The new building and gardens knit beautifully into the Newnham context. Inspired by the arts and crafts tenet of ‘truth to materials’, the contemporary perforated handmade brick detail complements but does not mimic the buildings by Basil Champneys. The design approach was collaborative, holisitic and thorough.
Using a variety of presentation methods, the architects were able to demonstrate that the College could realise several of their ambitions simultaneously, achieving more than they thought possible with the site and within their budget. Detailed materials research resulted in a palette of beautifully crafted, handmade red brick; anodised and natural bronze window and door frames; Portland stone surrounds to the windows and doors to the Porters’ Lodge; high quality granite to the Sidgwick Avenue frontage; and generous areas of glazing that maximise views over the College gardens.
The new frontage creates a stronger presence on Sidgwick Avenue without imposing on the historic buildings and gardens. Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape worked with the College’s gardening team to create the beautiful new gardens and generous external spaces which are absolutely integral to the design, with the building wrapping around a new courtyard, and carefully considered interstitial spaces that improve visual and physical links between buildings.
There are views from the street to the gardens through a building that is outward-looking and welcoming. The wider Cambridge community was involved in consultations on the project through local heritage and amenity groups as well as local residents.
In addition, the academic community, and in particular the views of the student body, were involved in developing the brief. This drove elements of the design which focused on well-being and the creation of the variety of spaces created for socialising and studying.
Walters & Cohen Architects
Newnham College, University of Cambridge
Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape
Ab Rogers Design
Approved Building Control Inspector
MLM Building Control
Cathy de Monchaux
Specialist Lighting Installation _ Haberdashery
Signage Consultant – Kellenberger-White
Primary Use Class
Class D1c - Education