Stephen Perse Foundation
Stephen Perse Boarding House, St Barnabus Road, Cambridge
Architecture, Building of Local Interest
The project set out to consolidate the various buildings into a more cohesive campus thus closing the social and physical gap to bring the students closer together.
The main entrance to St Barnabas House has been relocated to the southern elevation and has been emphasised with a traditional timber porch. Separating the vehicular and pedestrian routes into the site increases the safety of the students and allows the landscaping to provide an attractive frontage whilst maintaining functionality.
Creating a secure site will allow the students to feel more comfortable in their surroundings and extending the open views across the site will reduce the sense of enclosure.
The new link between the main house and the stables provides a secure route during the night to improve the management and security of the site. Students can use this link during the day or wet weather as an alternative route between the buildings, which is more convenient for them and reduces any noise heard by neighbours. Kitchen staff will also use this link for deliveries from the service yard, which will be safer as they are more separated from pedestrians, and less obtrusive as they are more screened.
The consolidation of common rooms, kitchens, service areas, etc. into a high quality communal facility reinforces the idea of community, connectivity and working together.
The Kirby building presents a crescent form with a fully glazed façade facing the road giving visitors a glimpse of activity within the building. It has also taken this form to maximize internal space and to provide a well-balanced relationship between both internal and external spaces.
The creation of this central building within the site will encourage its use as a hub of social interaction. Relaxation, study and socialising are organised around the perimeter of the internal space. The creation of small, partly enclosed pockets of activity encourages students to pause and get involved. The open space between these activities forms a natural circulation space.