Cripps Building, Cambridge, UK

Philip Powell & Hidalgo Moya
Date Built
Completed 1963 - 1967
St John's College
This Grade II* Listed student accommodation building at St John's College was described by English Heritage at the time of listing as featuring, "... L-shaped concrete columns clad in Whitbed Portland stone and containing duct work, with walling of Roach-bed Portland stone and Whitbed quoins, exposed in situ concrete floor slabs and mullions of white concrete with bronze window frames and lead aprons. The end walls are faced with lead panels. The flat, felted and pebbled roof has concrete benches at the eaves and deep eaves to the penthouse apartments with projecting, chimney-like stair turrets and plant rooms.  The plan is an assymetrical zig-zag in six sections, of four storeys with penthouses served by 8 staircases supported above the ground floor partly open as a cloister.  ...... The elevations strongly reflect the plan with a recurring pattern of long narrow set, double set and study bedrooms mirrored around each staircase. This produces a rhythm of narrow and broad bays with mullions set off-centre for all but the long narrow sets which have square windows, emphasized by the broad double sets which project forward."

Nilolaus Pevsner described the completed building as, "... A masterpiece by one of the best architectural partnerships in the countryā€¯ and the Architect's Journal added that it was, "... One of the finest pieces of college development in Cambridge since the war."  It was awarded Grade II* Listed status because English Heritage believed that it embodied, "... outstanding design combining an elegant exterior, distinctive plan-form and generous, permeable interior space. It has good quality exterior materials and well-crafted interior fittings."

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