University of Cambridge Primary School

University of Cambridge Primary School

Marks Barfield Architects

Structural Engineer

Steelwork Contractor
William Haley Engineering Ltd

Main Contractor
Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd

North West Cambridge Development, University of Cambridge

This is a new school that encompasses classrooms, group rooms, performing arts and multi-purpose halls, dining hall, library, storage facilities, kitchen, WC and changing rooms.

The Communal Block, approximately 35m x 26m on plan, comprises a steel frame with precast hollow core slabs at first floor and roof level.

The Cluster Building is a circular, single storey steel frame with lightweight roof. Its outer radius is 46m and its inner radius is 24.5m.

The Inner Canopy is a circular glazed steel canopy 2.7m wide.

By using steel an open-plan arrangement encompassing long spans with minimum depth was achieved, providing internal flexibility and future adaptability in terms of layout and wall partitioning. The weight of the superstructure was also kept to a minimum which minimised the size and depth of foundations.

Judges’ Comment

This innovatory school will form the focus of a new community on the outskirts of the city. Circular in plan and arranged around a central garden courtyard, the simple elegant steel frame achieves long- span lightweight construction despite the foundation and programme constraints.

The steelwork framing contributed to a notable completion in two years from inception.