Raised Faculty Building
(Modern Languages, English and Moral Sciences)
University of Cambridge
Cambridge CB3 9DA
Casson, Condor & Partners 1961
(Sir Hugh Casson)
The raised faculty building, in the form of a three-side court for Modern Languages, English and Moral Sciences, is one stage of a more comprehensive
plan for which Casson-Condor were overall responsible.
'The sequence of cloister and
pathway, solid and void, grass and paving, has been thought out with all the
co-ordinating care that the Festival of Britain [also by Sir Hugh Casson]
received. Many of the detailed touches are extremely well done... but all
these elegant details are only "visual aids" to an overall picture
of academic life which does not carry conviction... The Raised Faculty
Building, with its extraordinarily arbitrary and illogical fenestration -
particularly painful in libraries, which demand even lighting - was intended
as a great collegiate courtyard where, in Sir Hugh's beautiful drawings of
1952, spikily gowned students could be seen wistfully dreaming together
under the arcades. In fact, there is usually a half-gale blowing through
these menacing black piers and few people hang around to enjoy the bracing
'The Raised Faculty Building
(1959-61) has a cloister of concrete pilotis, in which are three
staircase halls, rising to... libraries... and seminar rooms... In the main
libraries, all three floors are unified, with central open wells, and lit by
four different varieties of window; the largest of these are two stories
high, with tripartite division by mullions. The top floor has a continuous
clerestory window... The structure consists of reinforced concrete piers at
ground level, supporting a first-floor slab of shot-blasted concrete in a
black basalt aggregate. This in turn supports two rows of internal concrete
columns, which support the aluminum-clad steel-trussed roof... The
reinforced concrete floors are also supported by the external walls of
loadbearing Portland stone.'
Nicholas Taylor and Philip Booth
in Cambridge New Architecture, 1970
Simon Glynn 2001
How to visit
The outside of the site is easily accessible,
and is within walking distance of most of Cambridge's university buildings.
The raised faculty building is adjacent to the history faculty
building by Stirling and the law faculty building by Foster.
Books and other web
building now houses the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages. The faculty's web site
is at www.mml.cam.ac.uk.
All links outside galinsky will open in a new window.
Close it when you've finished, or use the Window menu on your browser, to return to