Student accommodation on stilts could be coming to Cambridge
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Student accommodation on stilts may be coming to St Matthew’s Piece in Cambridge.
Proposals have been put forward to build over the St Matthew’s Centre for the Cambridge School of Visual Performing Arts in New Street, with a block of flats held up overhead by wooden stilts.
The ostentatious design would house 114 student rooms and offer a new cafe area for the adjacent park.
Developer Federated Hermes, which owns the site, is currently holding an online consultation ahead of submitting a formal planning application, which is expected in early June.
The proposal would see the existing roof of the St Matthew’s Centre removed, with the new building placed above on “a series of natural timber stilts”.
(Image: aLL Design)
According to the consultation’s website: “The constraints of this unusual site require a novel approach to retain the existing building, respect the open space, and preserve the mature trees surrounding the site.”
The design, by aLL Design, is developed from an original concept by the late hermes clutch replica
Professor Will Alsop OBE RA “whose core values were innovation, expression, and originality with an emphasis on enjoyment. This led to a design which challenges architectural norms.” The design deliberately preserves the memory of the dance studio beneath.
The developer said the building would be three storeys with an additional level set back, and would be raised off the ground by 6.5 metres, taking its highest point to just under 20 metres tall. The developer said the existing trees surrounding the site are around 25 to 28 metres high.
(Image: aLL Design)
Were the site to be granted planning permission by Cambridge City Council, construction is expected to start in 2021 and take 14 months.
A spokesperson for the project’s development team said:”The St Matthew’s Centre is identified as a potential development site by Cambridge City Council. Its careful redevelopment will generate additional funds to invest in the neighbouring St Matthew’s Piece and help meet the challenge of accommodating Cambridge’s student population.
Read More”The building has been designed by RIBA Stirling Prize winning architect, aLL Design. It will be a highly sustainable building, achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, a sustainability credential attained only by the top 10 per cent of new developments.
“A new caf will be opened within the rear of the existing building, with a large area of outdoor seating opening onto St Matthew’s Piece to create an ideal spot to relax for regular and first time visitors to the park.
“The new student accommodation will be professionally managed and help ease the pressure on existing housing stock.”
A planned public exhibition for the proposal was cancelled due to the Covid 19 lockdown restrictions, but the developer is holding an online consultation here.
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