Simon Sainsbury Centre
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Simon Sainsbury Centre

Stanton Williams

Simon Sainsbury Centre
By Stanton Williams -

Stirling Prize-winning architect Stanton Williams has completed a £ 21.5 million expansion for Cambridge Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, demonstrating the practice’s expertise in unlocking the potential of complex sites, and creating a versatile hub for postgraduate and executive business education.

The Simon Sainsbury Centre is built adjoining the Business School’s Grade II listed, John Outram-redesigned Addenbrooke’s building. This new space brings together all parts of the Cambridge Judge Business School community: pre- and post-experience students, EMBA participants, Executive Education clients, faculty, staff and external partners, enabling the Cambridge Judge Business School community to continue solving real-world problems with greater diversity and creativity.
The new four-story 5,000m2 building replaces two former nurses’ hostels on Tennis Court Road along the eastern boundary of the site. It has been designed to complement rather than compete with the Outram building, which was completed in 1995 as a remodeling of the 18th and 19th Century hospital buildings. As well as providing flexible education spaces for the School’s Executive Education program, the Centre contains additional teaching, conferencing, office breakout and dining spaces for the school, reflecting the evolving culture of the University and the changing requirements of learning environments. Through the physical juxtaposition of old, new and the more recent past, the project demonstrates a complex layering of history which embodies the identity of the School while expressing its contemporary needs. Stanton Williams’s design is conceived as an extension to the original hospital, drawing inspiration from the historic masonry façade designed by Matthew Digby Wyatt. This rhythm of brick buttresses and fine stone columns sets the structural and material tone of the new building. The height of the hospital wards within the existing building establishes principal floor levels and room heights across the site, while the massing reinstates the scale of the original hospital campus, helping to anchor the school in its urban setting. Use of strong color and refined materials, juxtaposed with exposed structural concrete, references the bold color, rich materials and exposed structure of both the 19th Century building and the 1990s Outram transformation. The resulting campus creates a unified identity that transcends individual period styles. Internal spaces have been designed to promote interaction between students, delegates and staff through the provision of generous foyer and circulation spaces. This engaging environment provides a sequence of spaces of different scales and characters, all with a strong sense of materiality and access to views. The Centre is on track to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating for sustainability. It utilizes an innovative strategy of distributed ventilation with the incorporation of 60 small heat recovery units within the building envelope to create a “breathing façade”. This use of the Trox system is the first of its type in the UK.

“The new building will bring together all parts of our community under one roof while maintaining our position at the heart of the Cambridge Cluster. In doing so, it will enable us to continue solving real-world problems in even more diverse and creative ways”, says Christoph Loch, Dean of Cambridge Judge Business School.

“The Simon Sainsbury Centre embodies the identity of the School while fulfilling its contemporary needs, adding a further layer to the progressive transformation of this historic site”, says Gavin Henderson, Director at Stanton Williams.

Location: Cambridge, UK
Client: The University of Cambridge
Completion Date: October 2017
Costs: £ 21.5 million
Gross Floor Area (New Building): 5,506 m2
Architect: Stanton Williams
Project Management: Stuart A. Johnson Consulting
Project Management and Supervision: Currie & Brown
Landscape Design: BHSLA
Main Contractor: SDC Builders

Civil, Structural:
Building Services, BREEAM Assessor: Arup
Quantity Surveyor: Gardiner & Theobald
Planning: Beacon Planning
Fire System: Fire Ingenuity
Acoustics: AAD
Art: InSite Arts
AV Systems: Harkwood Services
Furniture: Ralph + Smith

Bricks: Petersen
Audio-video Equipment: Snelling Business Systems
Acoustic Panels: Rockfon
Plaster Walls: Armourcoat
Concrete: Lafarge Tarmac
European Oak Veneer Panels: Furniture Group Manufacturing
Skylights: Spectrum Skylights

Photography: © Hufton+Crow

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