Cambridge House - Birkbeck, University of London

Skelly & Couch led environmental engineering on the refurbishment of Cambridge House, a 1920s former car showroom on the Euston Road, transformed into a flagship building for Birkbeck, University of London.

The striking redevelopment will be used as a second campus for the evening university, based on nearby Malet Street, and will include 440m² of additional teaching space for 610 students and staff. The scheme includes a café and active learning space on the ground floor, a basement, teaching classrooms on the upper floors and a large, copper-clad lecture theatre perched above the building in the two-storey, rooftop ‘gem-like’ extension.

Skelly & Couch responded to demanding site constraints (local noise and air pollution of the Euston Road) with the provision of energy-efficient mechanical ventilation and cooling systems, which deliver comfortable, flexible-use environments. It also spearheaded the development of energy-efficient upgrades to the existing building fabric and integrated new mechanical and electrical services into the limited space of the existing structure.

Photovoltaic panels and rainwater harvesting are among several innovative sustainable measures introduced by Skelly & Couch.

Cambridge House is in the heart of Fitzrovia, situated on the corner of the Euston Road, Cleveland Street and Warren Street. The building has a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’.

Shortlisted for an AJ Retrofit Award 2022 in the Schools and Further Education category.

* The Learner Winner in the New London Awards 2021.* International jury member Benjamin Prosky commented: 'They took a mundane building and gave it expression. It stands out.'