University of Cambridge Faculty of Education

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University of Cambridge Faculty of Education

A convivial environment for the exchange of ideas. The design concept creates a natural wrap of lawn and tree groupings to form a relaxed relationship of faculties, adjacent Georgian Villa and rekindled garden. An interior social daylit street winds east to west through the garden from the entrance lawn. A library is placed alongside the lawn at the edge of the trees to receive glare free north light, while along the south side flexible teaching, seminar rooms and office space form a structured back-drop to the high side of neighbouring Homerton College.

Ramboll Engineers worked with German timber construction specialists, Merk, to advise on the three storey timber frame structure that houses the library and learning resource centre. The scale of the exposed Glulam beams is not purely aesthetic: fire engineering is integral to the design.

The other half of the new building contains lecture and theatre rooms. Here, a four storey reinforced concrete frame was chosen with exposed concrete slabs to create thermal mass — a strategy that will help reduce ongoing energy use.

A zinc-roofed atrium creates an internal street with timber bridges used as links at each level.

We worked as part of the client's design team up to tender stage, after which all the consultants were novated to the main contractor for the development of final construction details. We then provided a resident engineer for the project, which was finished on time and on budget. 


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