Project Description

A new building for Cambridge University’s youngest college comprising a servery, kitchen, double height buttery and triple height dining hall. All roofs are constructed in sweet chestnut glulam, and the unique slender butterfly truss in the dining hall was made possible by resolving horizontal forces into the surrounding concrete columns and board marked plinth. In this way the structure bears similarities to ecclesiastical naves where the outward thrust is resolved by massive walls and buttresses. This framework also provides support to large areas of glazed faience.

Judge’s comments

Beautifully designed and constructed timber building with carefully considered jointing.  A great example of the outcome that can result in investment in time to study key details such as timber connections as well as the enhanced outcome of working with specialists, such as carpenters in this case.  The expressed roof structure beautifully highlights the role structural engineering plays in the architectural beauty of the building. 

Project overview

Structural Designer

  • Structure Workshop

Client Name

  • Homerton College


  • Cambridge, UK


  • Feilden Fowles

Principal Contractor

  • Barnes Construction

Key Contractors

  • Max Fordham – Services Engineer, Acoustician and Sustainability Consultants

    Bremner Partnership – Quantity Surveyor

    Ingleton Wood Martindales – Project Manager

    Peter Dann – Civil Engineer

    Constructional Timber – Timber Frame Sub-contractor

    MJS – Concrete Sub-contractor 

    Classic Bar – Internal Joinery

Year Submitted

  • 2022

Key attributes

  • Process

    Photography credits: Jim Stephenson