Atkins appointed for £36m Cambridge education campus

Atkins appointed as lead architect and engineer on new £36m education campus in Cambridge.

Atkins has been appointed to provide architecture and engineering services to Morgan Sindall Construction on a £36m new education campus in Alconbury Weald, Cambridgeshire.

As lead architect, civil and structural engineer and landscape architect, Atkins will help bring together the overall campus masterplan and the design for all individual buildings, including a 600-place secondary school, 300-place sixth form and 130-place special needs free school.

Richard Christmas, associate director, Atkins, said: “We have created a striking, high quality and sustainable design that responds to Urban & Civic’s masterplan. Central to the vision and our design philosophy is the creation of a ‘Landscape for Learning’ in which all space, both internal and external, can be utilised and adapted to enhance the learning experience and learner participation.”

Alconbury Education Campus will form an important landmark in Cambridge, and sit adjacent to a civic square, which will connect the schools to the wider community. 

The design of Alconbury is also described as a testament to the effectiveness of new ways of working in the pandemic.

Kieran Dyer, associate architect, Atkins said: “Our design was developed as we entered into lockdown, at a time when it was completely alien to design from your dining room table and collaborate entirely virtually. We successfully adapted to a new way of working, using platforms such as Teams on a daily basis to enhance our ability to discuss and explore our design approach.”

Alconbury Education Campus is part of the Urban & Civic development comprising 5,000 new homes, a health centre and retail hub, sustainable transport links, and over 500 acres of green space, including a country park. The campus design is currently at RIBA Stage 2 and is anticipated to open from September 2023/2024.

This appointment builds on similar projects completed by Atkins’ education team, including The Richmond Building for Richmond upon Thames College completed in February 2020. Atkins’ multi-discipline team developed the campus masterplan and designs for The Richmond Building, a STEM Centre and Sports Centre, delivered over multiple phases.

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