A four-year programme run by Cambridge City Council to provide improved public conveniences in the city centre, Freeland Rees Roberts designed three distinct new amenities. the first for Gonville Place was the winning design in a competition, loosely based on a merry-go-round inspired by the leisure activities of Parker’s Piece. The brightly coloured rendered walls reinforce the fairground motif as do the large panels of cold cathode lights, which gradually change colour, illuminate the building in the dark. Robust materials were selected. The stainless steel mural on the kiosk doors, inspired by the elm trees that once lined Parker’s Piece, was designed by Moira Lawson-Humphris, a Fine Art student. Opened in 2004, the building won a RIBA East Spirit of Ingenuity Architecture for Tourism Award.
The oval form of the Midsummer Common conveniences offered the least disturbance to the mature trees nearby and eliminated hidden corners. A Pindar’s room was included for the storage of the equipment and hay needed to tend the herd of cows traditionally allowed to graze on the common.
The Chesterton Road lavatories included four subterranean recycling bins are raised by hydraulic lift for collection and replace existing free-standing facilities. Rainwater harvesting stores water for flushing lavatories in a tank below ground.