Alison Brooks designs new entrance building for Cambridge College

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Alison Brooks designs new entrance building for Cambridge College

The British firm Alison Brooks Architects recently won the competition to design the new entrance building and resource center for children’s literature for Homerton, the largest college in Cambridge. Called a “lantern” by the architects, the design is a three-storey pavilion in solid wood frame construction, which welcomes visitors to the site and at the same time offers additional study and exhibition space. Due to its morphology and the copper-clad facades of the upper floors, the new building enters into a dialogue with its context and offers a flexible space that will meet the future space requirements of the university.

© Filippo Bolognese Pictures© Filippo Bolognese Pictures© Filippo Bolognese Pictures© Filippo Bolognese Pictures+ 11

© Filippo Bolognese Pictures
© Filippo Bolognese Pictures

Homerton is Cambridge’s newest college, relocating its activities here in 1894. The college, attended by over 1,300 students, needed a new entrance to serve its community, along with a porters lodge and an extension to the college library. With its large veranda, copper-clad facade and embossed details inside, the design proposed by Alison Brooks Architects draws inspiration from the Arts & Crafts legacy of Homerton College campus.

© Filippo Bolognese Pictures
© Filippo Bolognese Pictures

We are excited to have this opportunity to redesign Homerton College’s new entrance building and Children’s Literature Resource Center as an inviting “lantern” and multi-purpose center for the college’s communities. We are very inspired by Homerton’s campus and its artistic and craft heritage. We look forward to producing its first net zero mass wooden building. – Alison Brooks, founder and creative director of Alison Brooks Architects


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There is a large foyer on the ground floor, which connects to the existing library building via a covered “green corridor” with climbing plants. The first floor is dedicated to the children’s literature resource center, while the upper floor houses the book storage archive. The arched windows, the curves that connect the veranda to the upper volume, and the cornice detail are reinterpretations of various elements of the surrounding architecture.

  • Size: 675 m²
  • Architect: Alison Brooks Architects
  • Landscape architect: Vogt
  • Civil engineers: Price and Myers
  • Services & Environmental Design: Skelly and Couch
© Filippo Bolognese Pictures
© Filippo Bolognese Pictures



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