Swirles Court, a development of 325 en-suite rooms, purpose built for students, has been completed at the North West Cambridge Development of Eddington. Leased to Girton College, this is the first completion of many scheduled for 2017 at the new community, which is setting the standard in sustainable living and delivered by the University of Cambridge. The scheme has been designed by award winning architects practice, R H Partnership (RHP).
With a total construction value of £26 million, Swirles Court sits at the heart of Eddington, a 150 hectare site which will comprise 3,000 homes (private for sale and for rent to University and college key workers), 2,000 student rooms, 100,000 square metres of research facilities, a community centre, shops and a primary school. Girton is the first Cambridge College to establish a base in Eddington, offering state-of-the art facilities to its growing graduate community.
Heather Topel, Project Director for the North West Cambridge development, said: “It is incredibly exciting to see the University of Cambridge’s vision for Eddington start to come to fruition with the completion of this innovative residential development that is part of the Collegiate University.
“The new community is the University’s response to the need to provide homes for its academic staff and student accommodation. To maintain its status as a leading academic institution on a global stage, Cambridge University has created, in Eddington, a development that is unprecedented in scale and ambition.
“Swirles Court will be part of a new sustainable urban community featuring green open spaces, facilities and amenities such as local shops and a community centre, all linked by strategic cycle routes to promote connectivity to Cambridge centre and beyond. To future-proof the University’s position on the global stage as a research leader we need to provide an inspiring, sustainable place for our people to live and thrive.”
Swirles Court – named after mathematician and physicist, Bertha Swirles (Lady Jeffreys), a Girton alumna, Fellow and Benefactor – is itself a microcosm of the sustainable ethic which underpins Eddington as a whole.
Professor Susan J. Smith, Mistress of Girton College, said: “Girton, known for its pioneering spirit, is proud to establish a College presence in Eddington. By extending our estate into North West Cambridge – just a short walk from the main site – we have the potential to link a thriving undergraduate community with a growing graduate school, in close proximity to a unique residential complex for postdoctoral researchers and other key workers. This is the collegiate University at its best, offering new possibilities for interdisciplinary engagement, cross-community mentoring, lifetime learning and public engagement. Girton looks forward to adding to, and benefitting from, everything this unique residential complex implies.”
The complex is linked to the site-wide sustainable urban drainage system, the largest water recycling network in the country, and to the district heating system, and benefits from the underground waste storage system. Students will be encouraged to grow their own produce in the integrated allotment areas.
Each student will benefit from secure indoor cycle storage (there are 325 spaces in total) and Swirles Court’s location on the main Ridgeway cycle route will provide easy access to all typical student destinations including West Cambridge, Cambridge city centre and the Sidgwick site; public transport connections are already in place to Addenbrooke’s hospital and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
Innovative features like solar shading screens to prevent overheating in summer and perforated window surrounds to allow natural ventilation help cement Swirles Court, and Eddington, as an exemplar of sustainability.
The RHP designed accommodation also provides:
- A 24 hour porters’ lodge reception
- General meeting area
- Quiet study area
- Laundry facilities
- Shared kitchen / sitting rooms suitable for self-catering
- Access to three landscaped gardens which draw inspiration from traditional courts in Cambridge colleges
- Some of the kitchens are large enough to host whole-house meetings/events
Swirles Court has been built by GRAHAM Construction.
Image: L-R: Deborah Lowther Bursar of Girton College; Susan Smith Mistress of Girton College; Heather Topel Project Director of North West Cambridge Development. Photograph by Phil Mynott.
Building image: Swirles Court, Courtesy of Richard Chivers.