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Stirling Building Refurbishment, University of Cambridge


Location Client
Cambridge, UK University of Cambridge

Project details

BDP’s multi-disciplinary team undertook a 10-week feasibility study to assess the potential for the refurbishment and extension of the James Stirling Building, on the Sidgwick site, at the University of Cambridge. As part of a wider Estate strategy aimed at unlocking the potential of existing buildings and creating shared academic hubs, the project aims to create modern, flexible, shared, teaching, and learning spaces, whilst upgrading the environmental performance and conserving the historic special interest of the building.

The University’s aspiration is to create a shared hub, accessed by all departments located on the Sidgwick Site. This hub retains the existing library function, whilst repurposing and extending some areas to add a greater variety of social spaces, study spaces and teaching facilities.

Sustainability is embedded within the project objectives and brief. A feasibility study was undertaken to assess the opportunities for improving the building’s environmental performance to meet UoC standards and zero carbon targets.


Through a collaborative process of design and consultation with stakeholders, the team explored a range of creative options to meet the brief including:

  • demolition and replacement
  • a range of refurbishment options
  • refurbishment and extension

Integrated services

acoustics, architecture, building services, interior design, lighting design, sustainability