We are delighted that The University of Cambridge Primary School has been shortlisted for the Structural Steel Design Awards 2016. The School is the first University Training School at a Primary level in the country and the first completed building as part of the £1bn North West Cambridge Development.

The iconic steel framed building designed by Marks Barfield Architects, engineered by Parmarbrook and constructed by Willmott Dixon was opened in September 2015.

Education and young people are at the heart of the design of the University of Cambridge Primary School.  Its circular form and single-storey building promotes the school’s ethos to be inclusive ambitious and innovative; the non-hierarchical structure allows every voice to be heard. The building is comprised of a series of classroom clusters and learning streets where there are no corridor ends and doors to limit learning or interrupt the children.

Vishal Borhara, Parmarbrook’s Project Director on the school commented: “We are extremely pleased to have contributed to this exciting and innovative primary school. As well as being the flagship part of the wider North West Cambridge Development scheme it will also form a focal and important hub of the community. One particular challenge was to ensure that the efficient steel structure fully aligned with the architectural language expressed by Marks Barfield and the educational vision communicated by the University. By using the benefits of a lightweight steel frame and through a collaborative BIM approach we were able to optimise the use of construction materials whilst delivering the desired visual narrative.”

The Structural Steel Design Awards, which started in 1969, recognise the high standards of structural and architectural design attainable in the use of steel and its potential in terms of efficiency, cost effectiveness, aesthetics and innovation. Winners will be announced at an Evening Reception which will take place on Wednesday 5th October at the Museum of London.


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