The challenging site for the University’s new building for the Department of Biochemistry was the final piece of the former Old Addenbrookes hospital site - located within Cambridge’s central conservation area and surrounded by a mixture of 18th and 19th century listed buildings.
rhp were asked to develop a strategy to maximise the site’s potential to accommodate the Department’s brief, including some large, sensitive facilities, within an acceptable architectural response to the surrounding context.
Our building layout and massing approach created a central circulation and services spine which connected alternating pavilions of laboratory accommodation with amenity spaces between them. A semi-basement with a green roof allows the perimeter landscape to flow up and over into the heart of the scheme, whilst also creating useful floor area. This approach gained approval from English Heritage, The Royal Fine Art Commission, Cambridge Preservation Society & City of Cambridge Listed Building Panel as additional consultees to the planning process.
The Sanger building brings together many research groups within the Department of Biochemistry, providing accommodation for special equipment such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) instruments, x-ray crystallography and electron miscroscopes.
The building also incorporates a 150 seat lecture theatre, seminar rooms and café for 200 people.