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Magdalene College, University of Cambridge

Construction of Phase II of Chesterton Road Development: New Student Housing Block Commences

Freeland Rees Roberts Architects of Cambridge have announced that construction work on the new Phase II student housing block adjoining Cripps Court, Magdalene College, Cambridge, has commenced following a groundbreaking ceremony last Friday, 10th July. The scheme, which secured planning approval in December 2007, is being built facing onto Hertford Street in central Cambridge and will provide 16 ensuite bedrooms and a graduate or Fellows’ flat.

The first phase of the Chesterton Road Development, Cripps Court, also designed by Freeland Rees Roberts Architects, was completed in November 2005. Cripps Court was built by Haymills and comprises a state of the art auditorium for 150 people, teaching and seminar rooms and dining, exhibition and gallery spaces arranged around a landscaped courtyard. Two Victorian villas in Chesterton Road were also refurbished as part of the original development and are linked to the courtyard by a new entrance building and landscaped forecourt.

The original plans for Cripps Court also included a first floor gymnasium over ground floor changing rooms facing onto Hertford Street with a sports hall behind on the current site. However, the College decided that the provision of student accommodation would be a more sensible use of its resources and therefore asked Freeland Rees Roberts to produce new designs as the second phase of work for the site.

The wing of student rooms being constructed by Haymills is lower than the previous design for a sports hall. Adjacent to the recently completed Phase I auditorium, this wing steps up to a second floor with a graduate or Fellow’s flat. This has been designed to prevent overlooking of the neighbour further along Hertford Street.

To retain the character of the existing Cripps Court buildings, matching materials have been chosen which include clay pantiles, handmade buff brick, stone dressings and oak windows. The only exception will be the roof of the building overlooking Hertford Street, which will have a natural slate roof as originally intended for the gymnasium it replaces.

A lift has been incorporated into the plan which will provide disabled access to all levels. The courtyard and the frontage to Hertford Street have all been landscaped by Lisa Camps who designed the original landscaping for Phase I.

Tristan Rees Roberts and Graham Riley, Directors of Freeland Rees Roberts Architects both worked on Phase I and II of the project. Mr Rees Roberts commented: “Consulting the neighbours on either side of the proposed building was an important exercise and we ensured that we incorporated the suggestions they made into the designs.”

Mr Rees Roberts continued: “The new development will be a great addition to Cripps Court and will improve the frontage to Hertford Street which, since the days of the ice cream factory, has been poorly served by this site. We have designed it to harmonise both aesthetically and functionally with the adjacent buildings.”

Duncan Robinson, Master of Magdalene College, commented: “We are delighted that this second phase to Cripps Court has started on site as the student accommodation is a much needed facility. Freeland Rees Roberts Architects’ expertise has helped to realise our ambitions to provide first class student accommodation and professional conference facilities well into the future.”

Award-winning Freeland Rees Roberts Architects work on a variety of schemes for several Cambridge Colleges, including King’s College, Queens’ College, St John’s College and Trinity Hall. Other recent projects the practice has been involved with include the refurbishment and expansion of the University of Cambridge’s Department of Architecture; the new porters' lodge at Clare Hall; the proposed porters' lodge extension to Queens' College; the Cambridge Folk Museum extension; the new Buttery extension at University College, Oxford and the conservation and relocation of Temple Bar to Paternoster Square, City of London.

The Project Team

Client: Magdalene College
Project Managers: Davis Langdon
Architects: Freeland Rees Roberts
Structural Engineers: Hannah Reed
Services Engineers: Garth Gurden
Contractor: Haymills Ltd

Email: carri@carismacommunications.co.uk


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