Inspired by the college cloisters and courts of Cambridge, the design of every environment space within the Storey’s Field Community Centre and Nursery was carefully considered. The nursery is arranged around three sides of a landscaped courtyard, with the community centre on the fourth side. This open, welcoming and well-crafted structure is ventilated naturally by drawing air through an underground labyrinth and has excellent acoustic performance.
Intelligent use of bricks
Taylor Maxwell, a provider of façade solutions based in Bristol (UK), supplied the Storey’s Field Community Centre and Nursery with Wienerberger Con Mosso facing bricks and special shaped bricks. This cream, soft mud, creased multi brick has a soft and textured appearance, which makes it ideal for both external and internal façades. Using facing bricks as a building material gave the architects the freedom to create individual façades by playing with laying patterns, detailing and eye-catching features, such as porthole and geometrical shaped windows. The manipulation of the same brick product throughout the whole build brings a sense of cohesion to the project. The brickwork also contributes to the ventilation techniques used on the project, with the projecting, recessed and missing headers on the high-level courses of Flemish bond allowing for passive air extract routes at the east and went ends of the high-ceilinged main hall.
With its stunning architecture and innovative design, it is no surprise that this project has been widely celebrated and won several prestigious awards, such as numerous notable Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) awards in 2018, including the RIBA East Award, RIBA East Sustainability Award and RIBA East Building of the Year Award. Thanks to the impressive use of bricks on the project, the architects MUMA were awarded 2018 Brick Development Association Awards in the Public Building and Outdoor Space categories, as well as the event’s most esteemed honour – the Supreme Award. Sustainability was a major consideration for this project, and it is now on track to receive Excellent (for the nursery) and Outstanding (for the community centre) ratings for its BREEAM certification.
Project nameStorey’s Field Community Centre and Nursery, Cambridge, United Kingdom
ArchitectMcInnes Usher McKnight Architects (MUMA)
ClientUniversity of Cambridge and Cambridge City Council
Con Mosso brick
Year of completion2018