New Architecture in Cambridge

For the June issue of The Critic, I have written about two recent buildings in Cambridge. The first is the exemplary new library in Magdalene, designed by Niall McLaughlin, as good a new building as I’ve seen, in an extremely sensitive location, so beautifully crafted; the second is the Dorothy Garrod Building at Newnham by Walters and Cohen, giving Newnham a different feel, also well judged.

I find it reassuring looking at buildings which are designed to last 400 years. It is part of the brief, as opposed to the ephemeral life of office buildings in London which have a life span of 25 years (look at what’s happened in Broadgate).


2 thoughts on “New Architecture in Cambridge

  1. joan says:

    We really enjoyed the Sky Arts ‘Art of Architecture’ programme about the McLaughlin library a couple of weeks ago. (It is so good that Sky Arts is now on freeview and so you don’t have to pay extra to watch it.) It was especially good on recognising the importance of designing in such a way as to reflect different study requirements.

    My daughter is just coming to the end of her three years at Newnham so I have spent some time in the Dorothy Garrod, particularly the Iris cafe. It is very busy being used by many students studying at faculties based at that end of town. My daughter opted to live in the same room in Clough for each of her three years (as a music student she was given a large ground floor double aspect room with great views and a piano). I have however been around the new rooms which are part of the redevelopment and they are lovely – en-suite with bright communal kitchens/eating spaces. My daughter maintained that she wanted to stay in Clough as she was unlikely ever to live again in a beautiful high ceilinged room with original William Morris wallpaper in those endless corridors. Coming back to her box bedroom in E15 is going to be a bit of a shock!

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