Churchill College Graduate Residences Cambridge

Ceri Edmunds

ABA’s over-arching ambition for the new graduate residences at Churchill College is to support the ethos of the college and its academic communities by creating a modern, inclusive environment where graduate study and collegiate camaraderie can flourish. This is an entry to an invited competition to design 30 study bedrooms and 5 studios at the threshold of Churchill College’s main campus in Cambridge.

Our proposals aspire to expand Churchill’s capacity for formal and informal learning. By interpreting archetypal domestic elements within an institutional framework, we propose a robust new model for 21st Century graduate living.

The site at the intersection between the college’s courtyard-based High Modernist campus and the adjacent conservation area, which is primarily composed of free-standing Arts & Crafts villas. Our proposal responds to these two distinct architectural and landscape contexts.

The articulated residential lodge is formed from two L-shaped blocks, or ‘paired villas’. Our proposal combines the spatial and organisational qualities of the Arts & Crafts villa; veranda, bay, living room and bow window, with the communal efficiencies and landscape embrace of the collegiate range to produce a new model for scholarly living at the campus threshold, the Graduate Lodge.

Each graduate room spatially expands into the landscape setting beyond, while creating a functional window seat with storage space beneath. The architectural consequence of the bowed bedroom is an undulating north elevation. The undulating silver/green brick façade will capture afternoon light from the west and through its surface, offer a constantly changing play of light and shadow.

The proposal allows for the same building to be repeated in a second phase of development.

Churchill College
1450 m²
Invited competition
Forbes Massie