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In 2014 Walters & Cohen won an architectural competition to design new accommodation for Newnham College, one of the 31 colleges of the University of Cambridge. Newnham is unique in that all its students and fellowship are women.

The original brief was to design a new 75-bedroom student residence on the tennis courts. However, during the feasibility study an alternative option was developed that integrates new accommodation into the heart of the College, leaving the beautiful gardens unspoilt.

Demolition of the Strachey Building, built in the 1960s and sadly no longer fit-for-purpose, created space for a new building to knit in among the wonderful Basil Champneys’ buildings. A new Porters’ Lodge, conference facilities, café, and a suite of offices and supervision rooms occupy the ground floor level, with en suite student accommodation and a gym on the upper floors. Coupled with substantial associated landscape works integral to the building’s design, the new building is a contemporary addition to Newnham that provides a dynamic new frontage along Sidgwick Avenue without imposing on the historic buildings and gardens.

Client Newnham College, Cambridge
Total value Confidential
Completion October 2018
Area 6,900 m2
QS Aecom
Structure AKT II
Building Services Max Fordham LLP
Landscape BHSLA
Planning consultant Savills
Project manager Gleeds
Acoustics Max Fordham LLP
Contractor SDC
BREEAM consultant Eight Associates
Ecological consultant MKA Ecology
Building control MLM
Transport consultant WSP Group
Arboricultural consultant TLP
Visual art consultant Commission Projects
Heritage consultant Beacon Planning
Presentation model Bullfrog Models

Education Residential


  Photographs / Drawings

©Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

©Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

Site photo (March 2018)

Site photo (January 2018)