RIBA announced last week that The Study Centre at The Møller Centre in Cambridge was a regional winner of the prestigious annual RIBA architecture awards. The Study Centre was opened in 2007 and designed by the architects DSDHA. Winners of the Regional and European Awards are put forward for the Stirling Prize for Architecture, which is announced in October.
The Architects Journal (online) commented that “Among the expected frontrunners [for the Stirling Prize] are DSDHA’s Møller Centre, Eric Parry Architects’ St Martin-in-the-Fields revamp, Bennetts Associates’ New Street Square, Niall McLaughlin Architects’ Deal Pier Café, and the Castleford Bridge by McDowell + Benedetti”
The Study Centre and Music Recital Room at The Møller Centre was developed as a collaborative learning environment, a flexible space that can be used in a variety of ways and quickly adjusted from one format to another. A group could have a formal presentation, followed by small breakout work groups, followed by working around the space using graphic artists, role-play or theatre for experiential learning or to develop new business ideas, models or strategies.
To ensure that the new space supported the needs of end-users, there was extensive consultation with existing clients to determine their requirements for conference, meeting and training space over the next ten years, taking into account future changes in technology and the demand for highly flexible space that can be adjusted throughout the course of a day as a programme develops.
For the architects, the challenge was to create a building that answered these needs but would also sit alongside an existing meeting facility and in between the 1960s Churchill College and the Hans Larsen designed Møller Centre. DSDHA created a design of formal simplicity, with a glazed exterior which complements the adjacent buildings, reflects the exceptional landscaping of Churchill College, and filters views into the interior. Internally, timber linings soften the sharp geometry and bring the exterior landscape inside.
Gillian Holdom, Director of the Møller Centre said “We are delighted to win this award. Since the new development opened two years ago, the space has been very popular with clients and has been used in many different and exciting ways. It is a tribute to the vision of our clients, our staff here and to the architects who translated our ideas into reality.”