Temporary Kitchen for Cambridge University College

Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, founded in 1352, needed to revamp its 1980’s kitchen which had reached the end of its useful life. Fitting a 21st century kitchen into a 14th century building was a big challenge, but the college was determined to work with experienced firms to achieve their aim.

Aecom were brought in to project manage the design, tendering and delivery of the project. As a lengthy closure of its existing facilities was needed, the college decided to install a temporary kitchen that met its needs during term time and in the summer months when it has a booming hospitality business.

The challenge was to create a kitchen that could change direction. For summer events, the kitchen would have to produce food out of its south side, but during the rest of the year it would need to produce food out of the north side to feed the College’s main hall. This would require a flexible kitchen design layout that didn’t reduce its productivity. PKL were engaged to help plan and implement the right solution, a temporary kitchen in New Court.

Working with the College’s catering team and Aecom, PKL created several design iterations to address all needs before a final design was agreed. The delivery was one of the biggest challenges of the whole project and 18 months of planning went into its implementation. The College entrance is raised up from the roadway, and required a platform to be built to help the delivery process.

The construction of this platform and the complexity of the delivery meant there was a partial road closure for several days. Each unit was delivered in order, craned onto the platform, then ferried through a Grade 1 listed gatehouse into the quad, before being lifted into place by a crane which itself had to be moved through the ancient gate.

The 16-bay kitchen, with changing and washing facilities for catering staff, was installed without a hitch.

Bursar of the College, Timothy Harvey-Samuel, said: “The installation, which was a real worry for us, went very smoothly and successfully. The kitchen is very ergonomically designed so that our catering staff like working there and it means we can continue dining together as a college which is vital to the experience of college life our students and fellows expect.”

Nigel New, Aecom project manager said: “We have worked with PKL before and were delighted at their determination to provide the best outcome for the college through partnership working. The delivery especially was a real success, maximising the efficiency of the operation to reduce disruption to the college and the wider Cambridge community.”

See a video of This Case Study

Request a Brochure

Tel: +44 (0) 1242 663 000