Girton's great scheme: a purpose-built graduate complex at Eddington (North West Cambridge)

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Photo (L-R): Girton College Bursar, Ms Debbie Lowther, The Mistress of Girton College and Heather Topel, Project Director for the North West Cambridge development

  • Eddington is a visionary £350 million new urban-academic community delivered by the University of Cambridge
  • Swirles Court – a purpose-built graduate complex for Girton College – is the first completed accommodation development on the site
  • Swirles Court offers some of the most sustainable student accommodation in Cambridge.

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.

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 interdisciplinarity, cross-community mentoring, lifetime learning and public engagement. Girton looks forward to adding to, and benefitting from, everything this unique residential complex implies.”

Swirles Court

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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.

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 homesfor 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.”

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.

 

For more information, please visit:

 

For media enquiries, contact:

West and North West Cambridge Estates Syndicate:

PR Manager - Biky Wan

Email: JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING

Telephone: 01223 (3)32253

 

Girton College

Communications Officer – Hannah Sargent

Email: JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING

 

Published: 13 June 2017

 

About Girton

Girton College was Founded in 1869 as the first UK residential institution for the Higher Education of Women. Today, having been mixed for nearly 40 years, and with an almost 50:50 gender balance, Girton retains a commitment to inclusion and diversity, and is known for its success in widening participation.

One of the larger Cambridge Colleges overall, admitting students to almost every subject in the University, Girton is growing its graduate school. Expanding into NW Cambridge and enlarging its residential offer is part of this. Equally the College is committed to supporting the work and wellbeing of its graduate members, providing personal tutors, interdisciplinary opportunities, and help with transferable and life skills.

Girton students who reside at Swirles Court are full College members. As well as enjoying the attractions of North-west Cambridge, they have ready access to everything on offer at the main-site, including formal and cafeteria dining and (from 2018) an all-day café, bar and social hub. There are 50 acres of gardens and grounds, some of the best on-site sports facilities of any College (football, rugby, cricket, hockey, lawn tennis, squash, gym, erg-room and an indoor heated pool), fine public rooms, study space, a well-stocked library and archive, and an incomparable range of musical opportunities including a mixed voice chapel choir, and various classical and popular instrumental ensembles.

 

About Eddington

Eddington is a new community setting the standard in sustainable living, delivered by the University of Cambridge. This visionary urban area will provide new homes, learning spaces, amenities and green spaces, creating a vibrant environment for people to live, learn, and socialise in.

Eddington will secure the long-term success of the university by providing homes for its academic staff and students, to maintain its status as a leading academic institution on a global stage. The community is beautifully and innovatively designed, inspired by the architecture of the city and of the University of Cambridge.

 

The 150-hectare site will include:

  • 1,500 homes for University and College key workers
  • 1,500 homes for sale
  • 2,000 study bedrooms for post-graduates in the collegiate University
  • 100,000 square metres of research facilities
  • A wide range of community facilities

 

Phase one includes:

  • 700 homes for qualifying University and College staff
  • A 325-room residential complex for post-graduates
  • 450 market homes
  • Public green space
  • Facilities including a primary school, shops, community centre, nursery and a doctor’s surgery

 

The University’s approval will be sought for future phases, enabled through outline planning permission.