A reimagined, inclusive social hub for one of Cambridge’s most distinctive and diverse colleges
The pioneering Lucy Cavendish College needed to instigate fundamental change to ensure that it would continue to attract students and flourish for years to come.
The college wished to create a space that upgraded its existing accommodation and promoted a diverse environment for students and educators alike.
Inclusivity was at the heart of this project as the college aspired to make the new multi-use space accessible to everyone. At least 80% of UK entrants to the college will be from diverse, under-represented backgrounds.
As an industry-leading organisation with strong ties to the Cambridge community, Bidwells helped successfully navigate the complex planning and heritage obligations that this project required, and the formal application process addressed the project’s planning policy, urban design, heritage and tree impact issues. Working closely with the city council’s conservation and design officers, we carefully resolved the challenges of constructing new and replacement buildings in a sensitive Conservation Area setting.
The client requested the funding and planning delivery be achieved within the academic period and for the construction work to take account of the university’s summer recess, as well as a phased build.
The upgraded college will feature 72 en-suite student rooms with an integral café and dining and social teaching space. The collaborative relationship between Bidwells, the college and Cambridge City Council ensured a successful project, delivered in a short timeframe, for a world-class organisation.