Churchill College was founded in 1960 and is therefore one of the most modern Colleges to form part of the University of Cambridge and has a very distinct 1960s architectural style. Alium were commissioned to rework the buttery (college bar) and update and improve the adjacent toilet block creating a better facility for students and summer school attendees. Alium also created a new closed corridor out of an external walkway connecting the two reworked areas, using designs and materialso make it look like an original architectural feature.
Alium’s original brief was a fairly straightforward refurbishment of the male and female washrooms on the College’s main concourse. These were however badly planned with large amounts of space given over to an access corridor and with no dedicated disabled toilet facility only an enlarged cubicle provision. Following discussion with the Bursar it was decided to expand the brief in order to consider not just a better use of the space but also accommodate long intended improvement to the bar and beer store areas and an ongoing upgrade of the Colleges electrical services.
A more radical proposal was therefore developed to increase the size of both male and female toilets, add a dedicated disabled person’s wash-room (accessible directly from the concourse) and simultaneously refurbish the bar, buttery and back of house areas.
The new proposal would also require the enclosure of a section of previously external walkway in order to provide an alternative wash room access (through the relocated beer cellar) thereby allowing the long access corridor to be reclaimed as part of the new washroom layout. This involved detailed discussion with the Conservation Officer and Listed Building’s in order to ensure their support. As Principle Designer and Contractor Alium obtained all statutory consents and undertook a detailed program of works that worked around the Colleges busy summer conferencing season. As well as the reorganisation of access and circulation space off the main concourse the works also included stripping back the original listed bar with its polished copper bar top. A previously installed shop was stripped out from one end of the bar and the ‘python’, glass-wash, security shutters, service shelf and flooring were all replaced. In conjunction with this the old timber back bar was also removed and a new stainless steel bar with specially commissioned mirrors with Churchillian images and quotations were installed.
The adjacent buttery was also refurbished with appropriate public health finishes and fixtures. Most of the equipment was upgraded according to the new offering and access to both the bar and kitchen prep areas was further simplified.
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