Erasmus Building, Cambridge, UK

Sir Basil Spence
Date Built
1959 - 60
Queen's College
The Erasmus Building was designed by Sir Basil Spence and it was the first building along the Backs to be Modernist in design.  Early drawings of the building indicate that the original proposal was for it to be five-storeys high.  Responding to expressed concerns, the architect reduced the scale to three-storeys.  The college's website suggests that the final design, "... echoes some of the ideas of Le Corbusier, such as the use of pilotis to raise the building above the ground, leaving a clear view from Friars’ Court down to the river (a view which had previously been blocked by a solid garden wall)."

Basil Spence said of it that, “.... the idea of placing the building on a colonnade is not new to this College as Cloister Court is treated in this way, and indeed I can say that the seed for the architectural idea rests in Cloister Court, which was very closely studied for character and rhythms before this building was designed”.

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