Jestico + Whiles has secured unanimous planning permission for a landmark new facility at the University of Cambridge’s West Cambridge site, with the project described as ‘perfectly beautiful’ by the planning committee.
The 5,000m2 Shared Facilities Hub will be located at the heart of the University’s West Cambridge site providing flexible teaching and study accommodation for academics, students and staff from all departments and faculties, alongside catering and library facilities. It will also provide outreach opportunities for the local community.
It has been designed to promote an integrated and lively research environment on the site, connecting people from different departments of the University and providing a central hub as required by the increasing staff and student population destined to be relocated to West Cambridge as the University implements its masterplan.
The Shared Facilities Hub is the second planning consent Jestico + Whiles has secured for the West Cambridge site in two months following February’s permission for the proposed new Cavendish Laboratory building - a major new project to replace existing facilities for the Department of Physics.
Both schemes will enhance the University’s West Cambridge research site, which aims to create a significant research hub that will help the University to retain its globally competitive position.
Paul Milliner, Head of Estate Strategy and Planning at the University:
‘‘The Shared Facilities Hub represents a step change in the way the University will provide much needed amenities on the West Cambridge Site. The new vision for West Cambridge places far more emphasis on openness and transparency encouraging staff to engage beyond their building to collaborate with people from other departments, industry partners and the wider community.’’
Heinz Richardson, Director at Jestico + Whiles said:
“It is terrific that the new Shared Facilities Hub has been given the go ahead following the positive news about the Cavendish Laboratory. The team has worked incredibly hard to deliver these new buildings contributing to the University’s wider development for West Cambridge and ensure it continues to attract and retain the world's best academics and researchers.’’
The Shared Facilities Hub is scheduled to open in 2021.
Led by Jestico + Whiles, the design team for the Shared Facilities Hub includes Ramboll (Structural Engineer, Fire and Acoustics), Hoare Lea (Mechanical and Electrical engineer), Plincke (Landscape Architects), Tricon (Catering consultant) and David Bonnett Associates (Access consultant).