Cambridge Union Society

Client Cambridge Union Society
Type Refurbishment
Use Debating and student centre
Date 2018 (Planning Committee Approval)

Our planned refurbishment of the Grade II listed Cambridge Union Society has the dual purpose of restoring the core of the 149 year old building designed by Architect, Waterhouse, and in line with the debating society’s belief in free speech, open the building up.

The restoration will tackle the major subsidence and structural irregularities, remove the 1930s concrete façade and the reintroduce lost original Victorian features, such as the dormer windows lost in WWII.

New entrances on Round Church Street and Park Street provide light and modern interventions to the brick buildings, increasing the Society’s public visibility and hopefully encouraging the general public into the 1815 café. Internal works will improve entrance and egress to assist the flow of the 450 potential attendees at debates, increase accessibility and flexibility of use, and enable Footlights to reuse their original home.

In December 2016 Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent was initially granted for the project.  Subsequently a new modified scheme received unanimous approval from Planning Committee members in January 2018, together with the new complex for Trinity College on the adjacent site.