London architecture studio Feilden Fowles has completed a timber-framed dining hall at the University of Cambridge's Homerton College with a faience-tiled volume set above a pigmented-concrete colonnade.
Feilden Fowles has completed a striking new faience-tiled dining hall at Homerton College, University of Cambridge, after winning an international open-call design competition in 2017. The new building for Cambridge’s youngest College comprises a dining hall, buttery, kitchens and associated staff amenities on a 3,000m2 site adjacent to the Arts and Crafts style Ibberson Building (1914) and Victorian Gothic Revival buildings.
The new hall is located to the northwest of the estate, forming an important social cornerstone to the College campus, and completing the historic northern range of buildings. The dining hall has been conceived as an open and generous building in the round.
Drawing on the Arts and Crafts tradition the new dining hall is announced by a distinctive undulating mantle of green faience, a traditional form of handcrafted glazed ceramic tile originating in Italy, but popular in the UK from the 1860s, and found on many Victorian public buildings.
The architecture celebrates the integrity and inherent beauty of materials and craftsmanship, where ornamentation is a product of the natural beauty and imperfection of the handmade. It also embraces new methods of construction and engineering technologies of today, such as the use of parametric modelling to develop the faience façade – an Arts and Crafts of the 21st century.