50/60 Station Road forms the largest and tallest part of Brookgate’s CB1 master plan, immediately adjacent to Cambridge station. The development responds to the rhythms of its surrounds with a calm, understated nobility and adds essential commercial space to the development.
The geometry of the external cladding elements responds to the orientation of the building and the varying sun angles throughout the year.
GRC fins of west elevation; narrow elongated elements providing passive shading
Floor-to-ceiling curtain walling has been installed, which provides high levels of natural daylight and maximises views, giving a brighter open feel to the office space.
"A striking ensemble of elegance; a calm, iconic contemporary Cambridge building."
Neven Sidor, Partner, Grimshaw Architects
50/60 Station Road is a high-quality commercial and retail development that sits as the landmark building in the heart of Cambridge’s CB1 masterplan. A regeneration of a neglected 26-acre site around the Grade II listed Victorian railway station and historic Foster’s Mill, and sitting within the Central Cambridge Conservation Area, the building has been designed to both complement the masterplan and reflect the wider city context.
As the building is located within the Central Cambridge Conservation Area it has been articulated as two independent forms, one of eight storeys and the other of seven storeys connected by deeply recessed areas of floorplate. The result is a form that is respectful to the area's history while providing essential floorspace.
A distinct facade design incorporates different cladding elements, from glazed areas to varying degrees of shading by vertical fins and horizontal brise soleils. One of the main materials proposed is glass reinforced concrete (GRC), which suits the local Cambridge palette. This material is durable and sustainable whilst allowing precise sculptural shapes to be made.
Areas of windows have also been juxtaposed with areas of vertical plain masonry, with one of these marking the highest point within the urban fabric, creating a landmark feature that brings an ascending progression of buildings along Station Road to a modern apex.
The lower two floors respond significantly to the surrounding urban scene. On the southeast corner a deep chamfer addresses what the master plan describes as the 'antechamber' square; while on the northwest corner, a set-back two storey colonnade aligns with the Station Road linear park. Such devices have been introduced to integrate the building into its sensitive surrounds; including finer grain elements typical of the city’s historic areas, but without resorting to pastiche or historicism.
The design of 50/60 Station Road sought a high-quality contemporary office building, arranged over a single basement, ground and eight upper floors, as well as retail accommodation at ground floor. It needed to provide efficient and sustainable open-plan office accommodation and a generous reception zone, with flexible floor plates allowing subdivision, if required.
The location benefits from excellent access to the existing public transport networks being within 50m from the nearest railway, bus stations, local amenities and parks.
The building has contributed to the transformation of a derelict site through work, sociability and community. High quality tenants bring investment and vitality to this Cambridge locality and it’s expected that the development will spark further growth in the area, while complementing the needs of nearby communities.
50/60 Station Road, is an exemplar in flexible work space, that is both future-proof and sustainable. This is demonstrated by the variety of premium businesses that now fully occupy the building. The building’s aim is to promote a business community with brand identity, facilitating and supporting the growth of businesses and commercial opportunities.