University of Cambridge School of the Biological Sciences
In Brief

University of Cambridge



The masterplan proposals for the University of Cambridge School of the Biological Sciences intended to build on the School’s impressive scientific pedigree and ensure that it has the facilities to maintain it for generations to come.

The scheme has a new quad at its heart, shared between the teaching and research provision.  A single main entrance, new shared social facilities and better links across the site would facilitate and encourage interaction and interdisciplinary research, allowing new disciplines to emerge.

Currently housed in a series of historic and mid C20 buildings on the Downing and Old Addenbrookes sites, the masterplan strategy would allow the School to function collectively for teaching and research. The shared facilities would provide flexibility of usage for thematic research clusters.


The historic and valued existing buildings could house a dedicated teaching hub, as well as public functions, social learning spaces, a cafeteria and a library. Proposed new buildings are arranged as deep plan research fingers, which house labs and specialist research areas, and nodes that provide the circulation and services to each of the fingers, joined by a linking spine.

The plans set out the buildings around a new green campus, to bring all aspects of the School together.  This social ‘fulcrum’ pavilion would be the green heart of Hopkins Court and provide a space for all researchers to come together in shared social and administrative facilities.

Overall, the masterplan has the potential to increase the number of research scientists from 1,600 to 2,000 across the site and increase the space per researcher to be comparable with those of new life sciences buildings nationally and internationally.

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