The St Regis site within Cambridge’s De Freville Conservation Area has provided graduate accommodation for Clare College since the 1960s. The redevelopment of the site was driven by the need to address the buildings’ performance deficiencies and provide additional student accommodation to address the University’s growth projections. An initial feasibility study to refurbish the 1930s existing buildings did not achieve the required occupancy numbers and layouts, so three new buildings were designed to harmonise with the surrounding properties and the residential street context.
The new buildings respond to the surrounding architectural language through the use of pitched roofs, gables and articulated brick facades. The landscape scheme provides generous amenity spaces, with enhanced soft landscaping, careful boundary treatment and increased biodiversity. Green roofs, on-site renewable energy generation and a community heating network with combined heat and power plant, together with a passive ‘fabric first’ approach to building construction and services contribute to the sustainability and quality of the redeveloped St. Regis site.
The development has created 85 student units (a mix of en-suite rooms with shared kitchens, studios and flats) and 14 market flats. Featured in Brick Bulletin in January 2022, the project has won two regional RICS awards.