Churchill College’s Cowan Court in Top Five of ‘Best Architecture of 2016’

A Cambridge college’s new facility has been feted as one of the UK’s five best new buildings of 2016 in a review of the year published in both The Guardian and The Observer.

Churchill College’s Cowan Court, which was completed in September, provides 68 hotel-standard double ensuite bedrooms, in addition to a new multi-purpose meeting space named the Sixties Room, after a group of early students at the College.

Designed by 6a Architects, Cowan Court received the architectural accolade for its all-timber construction and reinvention of the Cambridge courtyard.

Jennifer Brook, bursar at Churchill College said: “We are delighted to have been included in this prestigious list of the ‘Best Architecture of 2016’. Cowan Court is already proving popular with students and conference delegates who are appreciating its design, environmental features and the integration with our original buildings. I would like to congratulate 6a Architects on this important achievement.”

Cowan Court is Danish in style, with an enclosed tree-filled courtyard and large outward-facing windows in all rooms. It is in keeping with the College’s environmental and sustainability strategy, with green credentials including a highly-insulated building ‘envelope’, comprising a renewable timber-framed building clad with reclaimed oak; photo-voltaic cells on the roof to provide more electricity than the building will consume; and natural ventilation with opening panels to either side of the special solar glass in the triple-glazed windows.

It is the first completely new court to be built since the College was founded as a memorial to Sir Winston Churchill in the early 1960s.

Cowan Court is named in honour of the Benefactor Fellow Michael Cowan, an alumnus of the College.

Other buildings in the ‘Top Five’ include: Switch House at Tate Modern; Walmer Year, London W11; Hastings Pier and Victoria Gate in Leeds.

Martin Fullard


Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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