Favoured architects announced for the first phase of Cambridge University's North West Cambridge Development
Cambridge University has recently announced its preferred architects for the first phase of its proposed development at North West Cambridge. The architects were selected following an architectural competition and include established UK and international practices as well as local and smaller, new practices.
The preferred architects named to complete the initial phase of development are; Wilkinson Eyre Architects (London) and Mole Architects (Cambridge); David Chipperfield Architects (London); Mecanoo (Netherlands); Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects and AOC (London); RH Partnership (Cambridge); MUMA (London); AECOM (London); and Townshend Landscape Architects (London).
The University, in conjunction with its advisor Colander, ran the competition early this year to identify architects for the first phase of the project which, subject to planning consent and the approval of the University’s Regent House, should hopefully begin on- site construction in mid-2013. The competition opened in February this year and in total, 340 submissions were received from 158 different practices.
The University-led development in this phase will comprise a number of building and landscape lots covering 141 hectares of land. The Lots contain a variety of residential units providing around 600 new homes for qualifying University staff, 300 units of post graduate accommodation, much of which will be let to colleges, a food store and other retail spaces, a primary school, a nursery, and a wide range of other community facilities and landscaping.
Architects are yet to be selected for two further lots of University residential accommodation, as well as for the primary school. Roger Taylor, the Project Director said: “We were greatly impressed by the calibre of the many submissions received. It was therefore a real challenge to identify the preferred practices, a process in which we were greatly assisted by our diverse and expert selection panel. We are confident that they have helped us to identify a strong and highly talented design team that will work well together in meeting the University’s aspirations for a sustainable development of high design quality.”
Should planning permission be granted in August 2012, the University’s Regent House will decide on the first phase of the development later in the year, and the value of the entire project is estimated to be in excess of a huge £1bn.