Winner of Cambridge urban room contest revealed

The latest competition sought proposals for a new urban room in Cambridge. The contest set out to identify a range of ideas for what the Cambridge Room’s could contain and host and will be used to help determine the right size and location for the new facility.

Participants were invited to ‘unleash [their] creativity’ and submissions could be a ‘specific or an abstract space, a single permanent location or many temporary pop-ups.’ A logo which could be used ‘on the shopfront of the physical space’ was also required.

Victoria Fabron, Eric Martin, Pawel Pietkun and Luciano Ingenito from the Cambridge studio of Allies and Morrison won the overall top prize for theirevolving kit of parts’ proposal.

Judges included Flora Samuel, head of the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge; Tumi Hawkins, South Cambridge lead cabinet member for planning; Katie Thornburrow, Cambridge City Council executive councillor for planning, building control and infrastructure; and Ze’ev Feigis, architect and Cambridge Association of Architects committee member.

Cambridge 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.

The Cambridge Room competition sought conceptual proposals for a public space within the city where discussions and exhibitions around urbanism and the built environment might take place. A permanent location for the new facility has yet to be confirmed.

The overall winner will now receive a £500 prize honorarium and a chance to work with the association to help curate events in the Cambridge Room.


The Cambridge Association of Architects – which was founded in 1927 and is the Cambridge chapter of the RIBA – is currently forming a charity which will oversee the Cambridge Room and looking at securing a venue for mid-2024.

Praised by judges as a ‘beautiful, clear and accurate’ concept, the portable kit of parts could be used to furnish a permanent room for discussion or be ‘carried between different locations for peripheral or pop-up events’.

Alex Giarlis and Brgs Lenz of Neubau were named runners-up and commendations were awarded to LDA Design of Cambridge; Simon Bumstead of Studio Snaap; Kyriaki Kasabalis, Darius Woo and David Valinsky of Kasawoo; and a collaboration between Kelly MacKinnon, Laura McClorey and Jess Mulvey.