NRAP were appointed as consultants to a Cambridge-based group assisting in the foundation of a Centre for High Technologies in the grounds of Tashkent University, Uzbekistan. Initially it is to be based in a wing of an existing building constructed at the end of the Soviet era. Existing claddings were removed and replaced by insulation and a new external skin with high performance windows. A new lecture room is situated on the upper floor.
The building has been completely re-serviced re-using existing ducts, and a new wing added with a café to encourage contacts between academics and visitors. This important social space is at first floor level over a porte-cochère entrance, and is designed to operate well in the very different climatic conditions experienced between winter and summer. People passing between research laboratories and meeting and office spaces engage with the social area at every level.
A major re-furbishment of a street of nineteenth century houses for Magdalene College, Cambridge, behind Quayside. The street and courtyard façades were retained but new insulated timber partitions were inserted to create undergraduate rooms and sets. The cantilevered stone staircase with cast iron balustrades was repaired, and new fire doors designed to bring the building up to current standards, without compromising the integrity of the historic building.
“Thanks for all your hard work on this project. This is a real landmark and a success — we have a really good-looking, functional design for the first phase at the right sort of price and it fits with a well-considered long-term plan for the site. Brilliant!”
Philip Guidford, May 2009
We were commissioned by the University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering to undertake a feasibility study to investigate the capacity of their central Scroope House site. We undertook this in two stages and reported to the University’s Estate Management Service as well as to the Head of Department. Numerous meetings were held with members of the separate divisions in this, the university’s largest department.
The Scroope House site has been patched up in an ad-hoc manner over the years, and we aimed to show how its efficiency could be enormously improved by rationalising its circulation and initiating a process of phased re-development. The second stage investigation examined alternative design proposals in detail.
We showed how important it was to use first phase accommodation as de-canting space to allow future phases to take place. Subsequently, to cater for its ever-expanding needs, the Department has started on a new building on an adjacent site, leaving the problems of the Scroope House site as yet unresolved.
Our competition entry for the re-furbishment of King’s College’s Market Hostel in central Cambridge, in addition to renewing the 1960’s hostel as required in the brief, investigated the creation of an atrium space and improved entrance to replace the gloomy passage and rear courtyard.
This study library was created for the graduate college of Clare Hall out of a former billiard room, an addition to a house by Edward Prior on Grange Road, Cambridge. The library design responds to the Arts and Craft character of the existing building and creates a mixture of separate studies and open reading spaces.
Dan Cruickshank, writing in The Architects Journal reported:
“The problem that faced Nicholas Ray is familiar to most architects. With a limited budget he had to create, within an existing building, an interior of architectural quality…” Cruickshank concluded that we had produced “a harmonious reading room of remarkable tranquillity”.