In 2016 Walters & Cohen was shortlisted in an open competition run by Malcolm Reading Consultants to design a £7m dining hall for Homerton College in Cambridge. The challenge was to create a building that reflected the College’s reputation for friendliness, approachability and inclusivity, without detriment to more formal aspects of use.
Our proposed building comprises a state-of-the-art kitchen that meets the demands of catering for the College’s staff, students and visitors from morning to night; a welcoming arrival space that serves as a café during the day and foyer for formal dinners; and a breathtaking dining hall. Designed to emulate a tree, the lower element of the façade is open on three sides to the gardens, while the upper element sculpts and filters daylight through a beautifully crafted timber structure and screens so that the hall is an ever-changing and dynamic environment.
From 155 entrants, we were pleased to make it to the final five shortlisted practices alongside dRMM, Hall McKnight, Caruso St John and winner Feilden Fowles. We enjoyed coming up with a design that meets the challenges of a complex brief and provides a building that is stunning, practical, and makes the most of the College’s grand setting.