ABA participated in a competition to design a new auditorium for Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
The proposal for a new auditorium was intended to enrich and expand the colleges Renaissance tradition of architecture as idealised, rational objects within a garden setting. The new auditorium is completely contemporary in its architectural language, sculpturally expressive and dramatic, but also highly respectful of its historical setting – in terms of scale, materiality and autonomy of form.
The buildings support spaces are disguised within a new garden wall building, a thickening of the existing stone wall. The reclaimed garden areas flow through the auditorium into the curved enclosure of the bastions new Secret Garden. The auditorium performs many roles in the narrative experience of Corpus Christis quadrangles and gardens, as well as in the composition of views from the Christ Church Masters garden and Meadows.
Primarily the building can be perceived as a discreet, self contained object in the Fellows Garden hewn from the same golden stone as its neighbours. However, with its carved away roof, large apertures and acoustic doors open it is also a porous structure that permits light and views through and around its volume, to the ancient bastion wall and the cathedral beyond.