Hidden in the trees off Madingley Road, Lucy Cavendish has a unique atmosphere amongst Cambridge colleges. The existing Edwardian buildings consist largely of a collection of red brick houses linked by a series of interconnected gardens. The overall structure of the setting is informal and the casual glimpses offered amongst the buildings into the gardens are almost ephemeral. The new buildings,consisting of a Dining Hall, Kitchen, Reception Room, Bar and Student Accommodation for 40 as well as a Music Pavilion seek to retain this quality. They do this by balancing solid and void making the spaces between the buildings an integral part of the design.
The materials, detailing, scale and character of the new buildings also respect the existing fabric. Vernacular allusions have, however, been made contemporary by fragmenting roof structures and contrasting thinness and mass. By breaking up and playing off the symmetry of the traditional buildings, an innovative quality is introduced in the new buildings making these of our time while also retaining a dialogue with the past.