The David Attenborough Building has won the Doors and Windows category at the inaugural AJ Specification Awards. The awards celebrate outstanding working relationships between architects, manufacturers and suppliers.
The building is an iconic Brutalist building in the centre of Cambridge, designed by Arup Associates in the 1960s and recently refurbished to create a low-energy, adaptable and efficient building which preserves its architectural integrity.
One of the building’s unique features was its ribbon curtain walling, and the new installation had to respect both the sectional size of the original curtain walling windows and the unusual castellated alternate frameless sill detail. By reversing the original fenestration pattern, the rhythm of the original has been respected but provides much greater free area to promote natural ventilation.
We worked with Schueco’s technical department and subcontractor Prism Architectural to develop and refine the design and installation, which was carried out over a series of regular workshops. Initial post-occupancy assessment shows a 35% reduction in operational CO2 emissions with gas and electricity use reduced by 38% and 34% respectively. Air tightness has been improved by 65%.
The judges said: ‘A difficult project to achieve, which is really well done and nicely detailed. It’s an innovative solution with the integration of a non-standard glazing system in a non-standard heritage building. Maintaining the elegance of the original building is a real achievement, improved by the formalised manner of collaboration through workshops.’