Skip to content

CDC Studio

Waterbeach Sustainable School

Promoting outdoor learning and encouraging young people into nature; this competion entry forms part of the Waterbeach Barracks development and captures the quality and character of the site, setting the benchmark for future developments.

‘Waterbeach Barracks provides an unequalled opportunity to create a truly sustainable development for living and working.”

– Urban & Civic
Aerial view of Cambridge masterplan
Concept aerial masterplan
urban and civic masterplan for waterbeach barracks | cdc studio architects cambridge

The site is defined to the north-west of the Waterbeach site adjacent to the A10 and new northern gateway connection. The school proposed on the site will form one of the first buildings within the KS1 development.

The site is surrounded by a network of pedestrian and cycle-friendly routes which connect new areas of housing through established woodlands to the site and beyond.

Various requirements have been established in the masterplan and its design code, including the provision of a new civic square to the north and the limitation of vehicular access to the south. A new sloped bund is proposed to the western boundary of the site to form an acoustic barrier between the school and the A10.

Covered external circulation provides direct open air access, solar shading to classrooms, and views over the surrounding landscape. Soft landscaping creates a seamless connection with nature and opportunities for learning and play.
Rather than considering the school as a single mass, this proposal has been developed to breakdown the accommodation into a series of smaller ‘pavilion’ buildings ringed around a central external space.
The walkway connect the teaching blocks
The teaching block set within the landscape
Civic edge to the school
We have taken a landscape-led approach: linking surrounding woodland blocks and breaking up the mass of the school, with buildings nestled into amongst the trees. A series of staggered pavilions allow glimpses of trees and sky between buildings.

The introduction of trees and wildflowers provide habitat and biodiversity whilst offering opportunities for teachers to grow these environments with their pupils.

The hall sits at the main entrance and acts as the main hub of the school – a space for gathering, performance, and community use.
Shared spaces are spread throughout the campus, with each year group having its own centre and identity
  • Client

    Urban & Civic
    Cambridgeshire County Council
  • Location

  • Budget

  • Design Team

    Smith & Wallwork
    Max Fordham
    The Landscape Partnership
  • Team

  • Images

    CDC Studio
    Haze Visualisations
    Urban & Civic
    The Landscape Partnership