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Cripps Building, Cambridge


Tenacious attitude and conscientious approach

Credit: Matthew Smith

R H Partnership Architects (RHP) for St John's College

Contract value: £16,000,000

GIA: 7,000 m²

Conservation Award

The Cripps Building at St John’s College was opened in 1967 with undergraduate study bedrooms and fellows’ apartments. RH Partnership’s tenacious attitude and conscientious approach has reinvigorated this Cambridge icon which had gradually deteriorated.

RHP undertook months of detailed investigation into the fabric failures and trials of repairs and alterations were undertaken to agree the standards required before the refurbishment began.

  • Credit: Matthew Smith
  • Credit: Matthew Smith
  • Credit: Matthew Smith
  • Credit: Matthew Smith

It included the major issues of replacing flat roofs, removing screed that was added to increase falls, and overloaded the structure; upgrading the heating systems; adding extra insulation to external soffits; exemplary concrete repairs; non-abrasive cleaning of the external faces; discrete safety modifications at parapet level and so on. The jury noted that the longer the list of replacement and intervention, the more impressive the control over visible alterations became.

The attention to detail of RHP and their team has delivered an object lesson in how to maintain and conserve these classic projects from the 1960s and 1970s. 

See other winners in the RIBA Regional Awards – East


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