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The University of Cambridge, Lucy Cavendish College Café-Bar

- Winner of AJ Awards 2023, Higher Education Project -

- Commendation Greater Cambridge Design and Construction Awards 2023, Best New Building -

The café-bar at Lucy Cavendish College is part of an exciting eco-friendly development of a new accommodation block aiming to eliminate the use of fossil fuels. Putting sustainability at the forefront, it is designed to the Passivhaus standard, meeting the RIBA, LETI and UKGBC carbon-zero frameworks. 

The café-bar, designed by Eve Waldron Design is seen as the heart of the building. EWD designed both the client facing bar and back-of-house commercial kitchen – a compact and tricky space planning task to accommodate all of the catering equipment, while maximizing the outward facing bar to be accessible to both sides of the space. It is located on the ground floor adjacent to the dining hall so that the twospaces complement each other.

It has a south facing terrace overlooking Library lawn and a new garden court has been created to the north. The curved blue-tiled bar provides a landmark for this communal area.

Drawing inspiration from the surrounding gardens and conservation area, EWD selected sustainable and hard wearing materials with warm tones, including oak, zero-carbon carpet tiles and stone effect porcelain floor tiles. Blues and green fabrics were chosen to work flexibly with previous schemes designed for the college by the practice and to compliment the garden views; splashes of orange animate the space. Booth seating and other touch down joinery were bespoke design.

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