Simon Sainsbury Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School

Project team

Client:University of Cambridge

Architect:Stanton Williams

Structural Engineer:AKT II

Project Manager/QS:Project manager: Currie & Brown, QS: Gardiner &Theobold

M&E Engineer:Arup

Main Contractor:SDC Builders Ltd

Concrete Contractor:Whelan & Grant

Photos:Stanton Williams ©

Date of completion:2018


Awards: RIBA Stirling Prize Nominated

Cambridge Judge Business School was founded over 25 years ago on the Grade II listed Old Addenbrooke’s Hospital site in the historic centre of Cambridge. The site has undergone almost continuous transformation since its construction in the mid-eighteenth century, most notably with the 1860’s main facade by Matthew Digby Wyatt and the 1990’s re-modelling by John Outram, when Cambridge Judge Business School was created. The new 5,000m² expansion by Stanton Williams Architects adds a further layer to this progressive transformation. 

A notable element of the internal spaces are the high quality surfaces of the exposed concrete structure, a result of collaboration between the same architect, engineer and concrete contractor as the Stirling Prize winning Sainsbury Laboratory also in Cambridge. Structural challenges included a large span auditorium with offices above and construction hard up to highway boundaries and existing buildings. 

Concrete is integral to the sustainability strategy of the building, providing a long term, robust structure with thermal mass. An innovative natural ventilation system uses localized heat exchangers in window reveals in combination with the thermal mass and night time cooling to minimize energy consumption in the building system. Only the lecture theater is mechanically cooled.

Gavin Henderson at the Concrete Elegance lecture in March 2018 said ‘The architecture and structure is indivisible as a design. Exposing the bones gives a tactility and emotional response to people occupying it’. 

Featured in CQ Summer 2018 (pg 4)