Works at St Catharine’s College Sherlock Court start on site

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St Catharine's College in Cambridge
The St Catharine’s College in Cambridge site

GSSArchitecture is delighted to announce that works have now commenced on-site at St Catharine’s College in Cambridge, following listed building consent being granted earlier this year.

The works consist of phased internal refurbishments and reconfigurations to a number of buildings within the College estate, known collectively as Sherlock Court. Located on Trumpington Street, in the heart of the Central Cambridge Conservation Area, Sherlock Court comprises a collection of buildings of various ages set around a central landscaped courtyard, providing residential and ancillary accommodation for over 100 students.

The refurbishments require a sympathetic and experienced approach due to many of the buildings that form Sherlock Court being of Listed Building status. With a Specialist Heritage Team led by an Architect Accredited in Building Conservation (AABC), GSSArchitecture has drawn upon significant skills and experience gained over a number of heritage projects. This experience has guided the Project Team, working closely with various User Groups, to produce designs that address the issues raised whilst also considering the site’s history and setting.

Two accessible bedrooms with en-suite shower facilities will be introduced, and the sanitary and gyp (snack preparation areas) provision will be increased to align with current standards. The building services will be upgraded as a matter of priority to improve safety, reliability, and energy efficiency within the historic buildings. Sympathetic repairs and conservation to the existing windows and roof coverings will also be carried out to further improve the site’s energy performance.

Helen Hayward, Operations Director and Fellow of St Catharine’s, commented, “On behalf of St Catharine’s, I am delighted that we have been able to begin renovations of our Sherlock Court buildings as part of a selective, planned renewal of College properties. These historical buildings are home to approximately 130 students and also provide rooms for a number of Fellows. I’m pleased that students arriving at the start of the next academic year in October 2021 will be greeted by more modern and better-facilitated accommodation.”

Once complete, the refurbished buildings will provide revitalised student accommodation within the College grounds. The upgraded Sherlock Court will welcome a diverse range of people, provide modern and improved facilities, and help ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of the staff and student occupiers.

Chris Chapman, Partner and Project Lead at GSSArchitecture, said,It is a great privilege to be working closely with St Catharine’s and the wider team on a very challenging and intriguing group of buildings in such a beautiful setting at the very heart of College life. Completed over a number of phases, the newly remodelled and refurbished Sherlock Court accommodation should provide many more years of service and enjoyment to all that inhabit them.”

GSSArchitecture is working as Architect and Lead Consultant alongside Main Contractor, SDC Builders Ltd. and Project Manager and Cost Consultants, Henry Riley LLP to deliver the first phase of the scheme, which is due for completion at the beginning of October 2021. Further phases will be undertaken during Summer 2022 and Summer 2023.