The St Regis Site on the edge of Cambridge’s De Freville Conservation Area has provided graduate accommodation for Clare College since the 1990’s. However, the former 1940’s buildings had become outdated, resulting in inadequate living conditions and high energy costs. The redevelopment scheme incorporates three new-build blocks of contemporary design and conversion of an adjacent building to provide 85 student units and 14 flats for private rent. A carefully considered landscape scheme provides generous amenity spaces and increased biodiversity.
The scheme, designed by Freeland Rees Roberts Architects is constructed with reinforced concrete basements, steel frames with masonry cladding, and hand-cut roofs with zinc standing seam roofing and cladding. On-site renewable energy, together with a fabric first approach contributes to sustainability. The site constraints required two self-erecting tower cranes to work simultaneously distributing materials delivered daily from a nearby holding site. As the site has been home to a significant colony of nesting swifts, the new buildings include nesting bricks, and a swift inspired logo now decorates the roadside frontage.