Over the last few years, Anglia Ruskin University has been developing its outstanding facilities in both Cambridge and Chelmsford, and has further projects in the pipeline to consolidate the appeal of its courses and campuses.
Between 2003 and 2009, numerous new faculty buildings were built on the Chelmsford Rivermead Campus, including the Civic Trust Award-winning Michael Ashcroft Building, designed by Wilkinson Eyre architects. These architects also master-planned the extensive works on the site, which curves gracefully along the River Chelmer and comprises several buildings designed to actively encourage high environmental performance.
The most recent addition to the campus is the Postgraduate Medical Institute. This building houses the research institute, including appropriate laboratory facilities, and is also home to the two largest lecture theatres on the campus. The building was up and running in spring this year.
Meanwhile, the main Cambridge campus has undergone major regeneration, ensuring that its facilities rival those found in Chelmsford. The site on East Road, close to the city centre, has had a new building constructed surrounding a courtyard at the very heart of the campus, opening for the 2011/12 academic year. The new Lord Ashcroft Building, which interfaces with the buildings around it, includes many flexible teaching spaces, a rehearsal room, lecture theatres, and a large open access study area adjacent to the library. Partly funded by a £5 million donation from Anglia Ruskin’s Chancellor, Lord Ashcroft, the building houses the Lord Ashcroft International Business School, and is designed to be a flagship centre for entrepreneurial study and development in the East of England.
The next project awaiting the green-light in Cambridge, is a plan to accommodate the Faculty of Health and Social Care nearer to the main campus, as it is currently housed in facilities several miles out of town. A proposed regeneration of land on Young Street – just five minutes’ walk away from the facilities available on the East Road campus, is in the final planning stages, following public consultations.
Phase One would involve the creation of a new building comprising mock-up hospital wards and several teaching areas. Around the perimeter of the site, the proposed building elevations – designed by Richard Murphy Architects – reflect famous architecture along the city centre Trinity Lane, including rows of tall chimney stack, which would be used for natural ventilation. The overall site layout is in keeping with the traditional college style, as the buildings are mainly accessed from a central courtyard.
The disused Victorian primary school, known as The Ragged School, would also be restored as part of the programme. Anglia Ruskin will soon apply for planning permission for the Young Street site.