Jerwood Library celebrated as Cambridge city centre’s favourite building of last 50 years

Jerwood Library celebratory event

The Jerwood Library has been celebrated as Cambridge city centre’s favourite building of the last 50 years.

The library building overlooking the River Cam near Garret Hostel Lane Bridge won a competition organised by Cambridge City Council and the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service to mark the 50th anniversary of the central conservation area in Cambridge.

The Jerwood Library was designed by architects Freeland Rees Roberts, founded by Trinity Hall alumnus Tristan Rees Roberts (1967), and officially opened in 1999. It topped a shortlist of buildings either built, refurbished, extended or conserved since 1969, when Cambridge’s historic city centre conservation area was introduced.

The award for the Jerwood Library was announced at a celebratory event at the Guildhall in February, and was handed over to the Master and Mr Rees Roberts at a short ceremony this week.

Nominations were invited for the best buildings in central Cambridge last December with projects since 1969 eligible.

l-r Tristan Rees Roberts, Cllr Katie Thornburrow, the Revd Canon Dr Jeremy Morris Master of Trinity Hall

The Master said: “The Jerwood Library has rapidly established itself in students’ affections as a brilliant working space, as well as a memorable sight, almost on top of the river.

“It has become so much part of Trinity Hall that it is difficult now to imagine what that part of the College was like without it.”

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces, said: “This award is thoroughly deserved for a building which has provided such pleasure for students, residents and visitors to Cambridge alike.

“It is fitting that this award has gone to a building which has enhanced the city centre and brought something new, while acknowledging its history and setting. It also shows how the conservation area has helped preserve the unique character of Cambridge city centre even as it has changed over the last half century.”

The other nominated buildings on the shortlist were:

  • Howard Theatre, Downing College
  • New Court, Trinity College
  • Judge Business School, Trumpington Street
  • Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street
  • Porter’s Lodge, Queens’ College
  • University of Cambridge Catholic Chaplaincy, Fisher Square
Jerwood Library composite image
Jerwood Library composite image