Churchill Road


Assemble were awarded second place in a competition to revisit Sheppard Robson’s seminal masterplan for Churchill College, Cambridge. 

The focus of the competition was the redesign of Churchill Road. In Sheppard Robson’s masterplan this had been envisaged as the service road to the rear of the College, but has become increasingly central to the College as it has extended to the north and west.

Our design extended the Sheppard Robson’s ‘mat’ of courtyards transforming Churchill Road from a corridor to an enfilade.

At the east end we proposed a new ‘Productive Court’ for experimentation, growing and arts. At the west end we proposed a court for play and socialising.

Pedestrians and cycles are prioritised along the length of the road whilst access for key visitors and deliveries is retained. Spaces are carefully made, porous and filled with plants.

Beneath the surface of the road runs a conduit for key services as well as a space for energy generation.

Gate of Honour, Gonville and Caius College, image: Wellcome Collection

The enfilade would be marked by opportunities for artistic commissions that could be used to open up dialogue about the College's history and help form its future.

A family of furniture inhabits the road, made in sympathy with the language of the original college buildings. Key elements of the project would be delivered on site, reducing waste and increasing opportunities for collaboration with the College community.

Collectively this set of interventions and the process by which they are made will contribute to the life of the College as a place for holistic learning.

Churchill College under construction, image: Churchill College Archive