Jesus College, Cambridge - West Court Phase 1a

Structural Designer

Peter Brett Associates LLP

Client Name

Jesus College, Cambridge


Cambridge, UK

PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR: Cocksedge Building Contractors

ARCHITECT: Niall McLaughlin Architects    

M&E: David Bedwell & Partners

PROJECT MANAGER: Edmond Shipway LLP        



The project is part of a wider scheme to update the West Court facilities, owned by Jesus College in Cambridge. This new extension comprises a single-storey basement bar with a lightweight timber café structure above. The basement is in close proximity to a listed building and also sited in tricky ground conditions. All of the timber in the café structure is glulam oak, with architecturally sensitive connections and unusual “cigar-shaped” columns.

Judge's comment:

Jesus College is a well detailed and attractive project that uses the site constraints and challenges of an adjoining listed building to positively inform the structural solution. The resulting new building brings transparency through minimised vertical structure, allowing views of the listed Webb Building beyond. Care given to selection of materials and form of the resulting Glulam Timber Superstructure provide an enticing space, with elegant cigar shaped columns and simple exposed connection detailing. The approach to the basement structure and late redesign (due to unanticipated geological conditions) reflects the positive and adaptable approach of the structural engineers to provide appropriate solutions throughout the project.

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