Combined Colleges Boathouse Cambridge

A well conceived and delightful addition to the River Cam’s frontage

Credit: Andrew Hatfield

R H Partnership Architects (RHP) for Churchill College, King’s College, Selwyn College and The Leys School

Contract value: £2.2m

GIA: 1,380m²

An incredibly simple brief resulted in a commendably straightforward building designed and executed in an elegant and beautiful way. 

Four bays of the building provide storage for rowing boats for four colleges and a fifth acts as a workshop. The ground level is encased by brick and designed to deal with flooding.

 
  • Credit: Andrew Hatfield
  • Credit: Andrew Hatfield
  • Credit: Andrew Hatfield
  • Credit: Andrew Hatfield
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This is surmounted by a lighter weight structure clad in oak panelling that houses changing and fitness rooms. 

The detailing is of high quality throughout. However, the homage to rowing, in the details and construction, elevates this and helps turn the building into something specific to its use. The overall roof form is a succession of angled planes suggesting movement and the stairs to the loggia further emphasise this. 

Overall this is well conceived and delightful addition to the River Cam’s frontage for what is a very simple building type but which, in this case, has been elevated into something special.