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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Graduate Accommodation Clare Hall College in Cambridge, UK by Cowper Griffith Architects

May 19th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Clare Hall is a Graduate College designed by the celebrated Swedish architect Ralph Erskine in the 1960s.  A house and large garden close by has since been purchased to expand the facilities, known as West Court. The College has built additional buildings around the original 1960s house over the last twenty years and this scheme for new graduate accommodation forms the latest phase completing a new Front Court.

Clare Hall College

Outer View

The building contains thirteen graduate rooms and five flats for visiting Fellows, together with a common room and seminar rooms. The form of the building responds to the mature trees around the Bin Brook running along one side of the site, and preserves important views. Restrictions imposed by the Environment Agency dictated an ingenious design as the first ‘fully bunded’ residential building in the UK, including raised access arrangements at each entrance.

Exterior View

The form of the building is composed of two identical mono-pitch three storey sections, off-set and split apart at an angle to create minimal and economic circulation spaces. The elevation towards the new Front Court is formal and austere addressing minimalist landscaping in recognition of the funding from the Far East. The elevations towards the Bin Brook and the College are clad in timber slatts, breaking down the elemental form and taking their lead from the timber detailing established by Erskine.

Exterior View

Clare Hall College

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Category: Educational Center

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