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23 June, 2006 - 15:04 By Staff Reporter

University of Cambridge building scoops architectural award

Girton College Library and Archive, designed by Allies and Morrison, is one of two new buildings in the East of England to be given a 2006 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Award.

The jurors praised the “extraordinarily difficult piece of integration into a Neo-gothic setting” of the building, which has been carried out in uncompromisingly modern style.

The £2.5 million Duke Building provides a permanent home for the Girton College Archive collection, recognised as the most important resource in Britain on women’s access to higher education. It includes the institutional records of Girton as a pioneering college and the personal papers of many of its members and supporters who were connected with the college and the early campaign for female education.


An extension to the existing library, the building also houses specialist book collections and a new reading room for those working on the archive and special collections. The facility includes climate-controlled storage and conservation areas. There is a spacious IT resources area and a remodelled library entrance with disabled access.


The Duke Building was funded by the support of Girtonians and friends of the college, including a major gift from the late Alison Duke, fomer Fellow and Director of Studies in Classics.


Other new Cambridge buildings shortlisted for the Award included the Faculty of Education on Hills Road (Building Design Partnership), The Institute of Criminology on the Sidgwick Site (Allies and Morrison) and the Plant Growth Facility at the Botanic Garden (RH Partnership).

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