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Cambridge University Newnham College (Brief) G#15133

By 12 February 2017February 27th, 2019Brief, Briefing, Buildings, Case Study, Design, Encyclopaedia, Projects

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Cambridge University Newnham College Brief

Cambridge University Newnham College Brief

This brief is for a University course IDBE project only and may not reflect the intentions of the University in reality.


  • “Newnham is a place that provides a first class education for women, nurtures their aspirations, and enhances and develops their self confidence and ability to be leaders in their chosen fields.
  • Our facilities and surroundings need to attract the brightest women, as Fellows, Graduate Students or Undergraduates, to this very special place where women are encouraged to flourish and succeed.”

Dame Carol Black, November 2013


In this context, Newnham is planning three new building projects:

  1. Additional first class accommodation on site for graduates, to meet demand and align the College with the University’s aspirations for increased graduate student numbers.
  2. Replacing the facilities in Strachey, a 1960’s building, to upgrade them to current/modern standards, reduce current high maintenance costs and improve energy efficiency.
  3. Creating a more coherent approach and entrance to the College with a more efficient Porters’ Lodge.



  • Newnham College has a fantastic built heritage.
  • The College has an obligation to add to this legacy and deliver new buildings that are truly wonderful for future generations. Because the new buildings will help shape the future character and reputation of Newnham College, they must add value, joy and appeal to the College’s built environment.
  • When making the choice of architect, it is therefore important to consider the wider, long-term legacy.
  • So, what makes a ‘wonderful’ building? Or, more importantly, what makes a wonderful building for Newnham?
  • The BPG has already done a lot of work to establish a list of key criteria that describe ‘wonderful’ in this context:
  • The new buildings will need to reflect the ethos, values and culture of Newnham.
  • This means they need to be:
    • High quality to set the tone for future development
    • Built to ‘heritage’ standards i.e. the building fabric has a 100 year life
    • Sympathetic to and sitting well with the beautiful Champneys buildings and gardens, taking advantage of the garden views
    • Restorative, inspirational, spacious, elegant and sophisticated; warm, friendly, supportive, welcoming; domestic and collegiate in style to foster community spirit
    • Pioneering and forward-looking –
    • Distinctive and memorable as characteristically Newnham, to help raise the College’s profile –
    • Built to high but affordable sustainability standards; highly energy efficient with low on-going maintenance costs and low energy usage –
    • Very good functionality and comfortable to live in; flexible to allow future adaptation for single student accommodation and/or expansion

Cambridge University IDBE Interdisciplinary Design in the Built Environment G#1478 N#1439

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy
aka BrianSpecMan
12th February 2017

Cambridge University Newnham College Brief


© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy
aka BrianSpecMan
12th February 2017

Cambridge University Newnham College Brief
See Also: 

GBE Brief

GBE Courses

GBE Templates

© GBE NGS ASWS BrianMurphy
aka BrianSpecMan
12th February 2017

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