Client: Queens College
Location: Cambridge
Status: Completed

Queens College Nursery & Student Accommodation

This £1.2m project relocated an established nursery of a previously dilapidated building. The ground floor is utilised exclusively by a 25-place b=nursery which opens up to external play/landscape spaces. The upper floor provides post-graduate ensuite student bedrooms with communal kitchen/dining spaces.

The project brief was to relocate the existing nursery from its constrained location on the main Queens College site to an existing building on the Owlstone Croft site in Newnham Croft, Cambridge. The building to be refurbished had been unoccupied for approximately 20 years and had suffered from a combination of the elements and a lack of maintenance.

The proposal was to create a Nursery on the ground floor with post-graduate ensuite student bedrooms above. New car and cycle parking was provided as part of the site's external works overhaul.

The ethos of the nursery is to play and learn through their natural environment therefore the building has been designed to maximise the relationship and opportunity to interact with the outdoors.

A key feature of the original building was the generous proportion of window openings. The new bedrooms are not compatible with these large areas of glazing therefore, a new fenestration was developed that retained the successful proportions outside but with an opening that worked inside. The new fenestration included a tile detail that allowed the internal opening to be reduced whilst retaining the original external aesthetic and design intent.

Key Services carried out by Saunders Boston Architects:

  • Retained and revitalised existing derelict building
  • Full Planning Application
  • Technical Delivery
  • Site Support


Shortlisted for the Conservation, Alteration or Extension of an Existing Building Category of the Cambridge Design and Construction Awards 2015