Jesus College, Cambridge University


iall McLaughlin won a competition for the development of Jesus College’s West Court, Auditorium and Forum which was carried out in three phases. Phase One focused on the renovation and extension of the existing Grade II listed Webb Building providing a wide variety of new modern learning and teaching facilities. 

Phase two provided a new auditorium, able to seat up to 300 people, and the final phase three included the development of new arts and sports facilities.  

This refurbishment and extension of a Grade II listed building is a perfect example of how to combine traditional and modern elements. This concept for an educational building design has so many complex features and the use of joinery combined with minimally framed and frameless glazing solutions results in a unique concept.  

Gary, the MD of IQ, said “what I also like is the use of joinery as this is really coming back in fashion”. The innovative wooden structures around the building work towards keeping that traditional architecture style, and the joinery seen internally helps to forge a strong connection with the outdoors.  

IQ designed and installed a number of bespoke glazing solutions for this project, including floor to ceiling slim sliding doors around the new café space, a structural glass roof and frosted glazing in places to provide privacy without blocking the flow of natural light.  

Triple glazing was specified for the sliding doors to ensure the heat was kept in and the cafe space remained at a comfortable temperature all year round, further aided by the use of low e coatings within the glazing. Solar control glass was also incorporated to prevent overheating in the warmer months. 

The two slim framed sliding doors met at a glass-to-glass corner junction with both reaching nearly 3m tall and one spanning an impressive 15.7m wide with a mixture of fixed and sliding panes. This creates entire walls of glass that wrap around the cafe space, maximising natural light and complementing the bespoke timber interior design.

Approved Document K of UK building regulations stipulates that for large frameless or minimally framed glazing elevations in non-dwelling spaces, the glass must include manifestations to prevent injury from collision with the glass. Here IQ designed minimalistic dotted lines across the oversized sliding glass doors to ensure the glazing adhered to this without disrupting the natural light or views.  

Some parts of this university building design required certain levels of soundproofing, and so IQ incorporated acoustic reduction glass into the frosted glass windows in order to meet the requirements of the architect’s design.   

The architects on the job need glass doors in the student bar to meet certain building regulations in terms of fire escape and safety. IQ worked closely with Níall McLaughlin Architects and found the best solution to achieve this was with Schuco door systems that have electronic locking and a fire safety release. 

The Master of Jesus College, Professor Ian White, said “We are excited by the opportunity the West Court development brings to take the facilities we can offer to students, alumni and the wider world to a new level of excellence.” 

When it comes to specifying glazing for educational buildings, such as schools or university buildings, there are many factors that require careful consideration. Natural light, ventilation and comfortable temperatures are vital when creating effective learning spaces, and regulations for fire escape and safety need to be adhered to.  

Natural light has been proven to provide many mental and physical benefits for a building’s occupants including reducing stress and boosting productivity. This is essential in educational building design to ensure students have an optimal learning environment, and the best way to achieve this is with a bespoke glazing package from IQ. 

To discuss bespoke glazing solutions for your next education building project, contact the team at IQ today. 

PRODUCTS: Door Systems, Structural Glass Roof, Technical Glazing Solutions 
TYPE: Education
LOCATION: Cambridge

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Shannon Normoyle

As one of the Senior Marketing Executives, Shannon oversees the website and SEO management for IQ and can often be found working on SEO strategies or writing content for the websites. 

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