Cambridge Civic Quarter

The winning team – set to include a commercial advisor, architect, heritage consultant and other disciplines – will explore options to revitalise the three landmark civic buildings in the heart of the historic university city.

The project, planned to complete in 2027, aims to reduce long term operating costs and maximise the valuable commercial use of the three sites which are currently used office and civic functions, music events and market trading respectively.

According to the brief: ‘Bidders are required to form a development consultancy consortium consisting of a commercial advisor, design consultants, MEP consultant, planning consultant and any other consultants deemed necessary to successfully complete a Development Appraisal with designs to RIBA Stage 2.

‘Please note that the council are open to the consortium comprising a group of consultants but also the option of the consortium being “developer” led, mindful that this tender is for the initial commercial review/appraisal work and corresponding design up to and including RIBA stage 2.  Either approach for the type of bidder is acceptable provided that the outputs are delivered.’

ambridge is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK. Earlier this month, the University of Cambridge named the architects chosen for its new £80 million construction consultancy services framework.

Major developments within the city include a £3.5 billion housing-led transformation of a water recycling centre site by Urbed for U+I and TOWN, which completed the Mole-designed council-backed Marmalade Lane co-housing scheme in 2020.

Last month, Victoria Fabron, Eric Martin, Pawel Pietkun and Luciano Ingenito from the Cambridge studio of Allies and Morrison won the overall top prize in a Cambridge Association of Architects ideas contest for a new ‘urban room’ and logo.

The latest project will see development consultant team selected to draw up proposals for the future of the Grade II-listed Guildhall, the nearby Corn Exchange music venue, and the city’s historic open air Market Square.

Following approval of an initial commercial review and options appraisal, the appointed team will draw up RIBA Stage 2 proposals for approval by the council in November 2024.

Bids to deliver the contract will be evaluated 70 per cent on quality and 30 per cent on cost. Applicants must hold employer’s liability insurance of £5 million, public liability insurance of £5 million and professional indemnity insurance of £2 million.

Competition details

Project title Cambridge City Council – Civic Quarter
Client Cambridge City Council
Contract value £1.25 million
First round deadline Midday, 21 March 2024
Restrictions Prior experience of commercialising and re-modelling Civic and/or Heritage buildings, to current sustainability or Net Zero carbon design standards are mandatory requirements when forming the Development consultancy consortium
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