The Dorothy Garrod Building, Newnham College, Cambridge 

Established in 1871, Newnham College is the oldest women’s college within the University of Cambridge.

Set in 17 acres of landscaped grounds, Gleeds was tasked with project managing the development of stylish, contemporary residential facilities to complement the existing style of the College and support today’s students and visiting conference guests.

Reflecting the historical nature of the College and blending in with its local surroundings, the Dorothy Garrod Building comprises:

  • A vibrant café with a bespoke lighting sculpture
  • A fully equipped conference facility, including meeting rooms and dedicated break-out space
  • Two rooftop glass pavilions incorporating a gym, external terrace and garden
  • Extensive landscaping, including the Mathematical Courtyard, inspired by the Fibonacci Sequence
  • Stylish purpose-built and refurbished en-suite student bedrooms with dedicated social spaces 
100 year lifespan

A building designed to house and inspire future generations of female leaders.


Gleeds supported the College to implement a robust procurement strategy that minimised programme timing and budget risk. The brief was to design a building with a lifespan of 100 years, meaning that we considered and advised how this approach would apply to different parts of the building structure and process. All materials were selected to the highest specification, so extensive cost reviews, particularly with regard to the design of the external façade, were conducted, whilst still achieving results under budget. Our team developed an effective procurement strategy using the two-stage design and build model to allow for early works to occur on site ahead of agreeing the main contractor contract. Our early appointment meant that we were able to collaborate with both heritage experts for planning consultations and ecologists for the safe relocation of bat species ahead of construction.

Capture.PNGPhotography credits: Walters and Cohen Architects

A BREEAM rated, multi award-winning project inspired by the arts and crafts movement

Rated BREEAM Very Good, the building has been designed to maximise natural ventilation and daylight, whilst reducing heat loss in winter.

The Dorothy Garrod Building has won a RIBA East Award, a RIBA National Award and is named RIBA East's Building of the Year 2019. It also jointly won the Craftsmanship Award at the Cambridge Design and Construction Awards, was shortlisted for the AIA UK Awards and was commended at the Schueco Awards.


Project Management



Galvin Tarling

Galvin Tarling
Global Head, Life Science & Pharmaceuticals