Gresham Court is located between Gresham Road and Fenner’s Cricket Ground in Cambridge and provides graduate accommodation for Hughes Hall. It comprises 85 student rooms, shared kitchen areas and social spaces in a four-storey structure arranged around a central courtyard. A transparent study space in the central section provides an open plan area for students, with clear views onto the courtyard and Fenner’s.
The building is located on a constrained city centre site which was formerly the University of Cambridge Physical Education Centre, and this together with the presence of made ground and coprolite works meant a piled foundation system was adopted. The superstructure was a combination of flat slab concrete frame and steel framed pitched roof, with steel framed window projections on the courtyard elevation. The use of concrete as the main superstructure material allowed the columns to be concealed within walls, provide a clear soffit for service distribution and also allowed the transfer structure over the clear open plan space of the study area to be formed without significant downstands. To speed construction, a prefabricated reinforcement mat system was adopted for the flat slab areas, which allowed rapid construction of the concrete frame.