Dining Hall, Downing College
Cambridge, United Kingdom 2005–2009
Client: Downing College Developments Grade I listed
Caruso St John was commissioned by Downing College to refurbish the listed dining hall in 2005. Subsequently, the project brief was expanded to include back-of-house facilities, fellows' accommodation, and offices within adjacent later buildings.
The original Downing College buildings were designed by William Wilkins in the early 1800s, and were very influential in their time, heralding the Greek Revival style and campus plan type. Now Grade I listed, they stand in stark contrast to the predominantly medieval and Gothic colleges nearby. In the late 1960s, Howell Killick Partridge & Amis added a fine extension to the dining hall for a new Senior Combination Room, kitchen, and administration offices. The new project works within both the Georgian and modernist buildings.
The intricate and complex changes have involved adjusting, improving, and extending the existing buildings, without closing the operation of the dining hall, which required the project to be carried out in phases. The first phase – to replace the kitchens, servery bar and external administrative offices – was completed in 2007. The second phase started in 2008; it upgraded the facilities of the dining hall and transformed its interior, removing previous layers of refurbishment and giving it a character aligned with the Wilkins original. Caruso St John attended to all aspects of the listed interior, including the design of the new furniture and chandeliers.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Downing College Developments
Grade I listed
Caruso St John Architects
Adam Caruso, Peter St John
Nesli Aydoghan, Christiane Felber, Adam Khan, Emily Keyte, James Payne
Alan Baxter Associates
Max Fordham, WSP Integrated Building Services
Sawyer and Fisher, Robert Lombardelli Partnership, Davis Langdon
Robert Lombardelli Partnership
Alan Baxter and Associates, Greg Howarth, Hayles and Howe
David Bonnett Associates
Peter Burholt Partnership