New Laboratory and Office Space for Abingdon Science Park
20 Sept 2022
SDC has completed and handed over the Central Spaces Project for St Catharine’s College in Cambridge. The building project comprised the extensive redevelopment and reconfiguration of the main social spaces used by the College community, whilst protecting and showcasing the heritage of the existing building. The standout feature of the project is the new dining hall and kitchen area, with a gold lantern shining natural light onto students enjoying College activities or guests dining at external events.
The finished project also provides step-free access between the College’s 17th-century buildings and newer facilities. A central atrium was created, and a fully accessible lift connects a basement gym and music room to the dining hall, Chapel, and Sherlock Library. Other facilities in Chapel Court, such as the McGrath Centre and Bar, are now linked via a glass-fronted Garden Room which offers an informal space to meet and collaborate.
Refurbishment works were also carried out to the Sherlock Library, the Armitage Room, Old Combination Room (OCR), and the McGrath Centre, and the flooring was replaced in the Senior Combination Room (SCR). A new prayer room and the Sydney Smith Room was formed, and a humidity-controlled Rare Books Store provides a safe space to keep the Colleges Rare Books whilst an adjoining Reading room can be used to study the collection.
The project was officially opened by Sir Ian McKellen, an alumnus and Honorary Fellow of the College, on the 5th of October after he conjured a blazing doorway using pyrotechnic wizardry and walked through it to mark the opening of new spaces.
Photo credit: Martin Bond, A Cambridge Diary