University to open new building with study spaces

The “state-of-the-art” West Hub will open on Tuesday (26/4)

Students preparing for exams may be pleased to hear that a new University building named the West Hub will open on Tuesday (26/4), providing study spaces, learning resources, and a new library, among other functions.

Located in West Cambridge Site on JJ Thomson Avenue, opposite the Computer Laboratory, the West Hub will be open to all students, staff, as well as members of the public from 8am to 9pm, Mondays to Fridays. The study spaces, located in the upper floors of the three-storey development, will range from informal open areas to individual study pods. More study spaces are available at the library, media lab, multi-use spaces, and learning resource centres.

The new building will provide various forms of study spaces (Image credits: Ståle Eriksen)

The ground floor of the West Hub will also feature a bar and a cafeteria that opens into green space and external seating areas. Inside, there will be two internal gardens located in light-filled atriums, providing large quantities of natural daylight into the complex. Designed by architectural practice Jestico + Whiles, the West Hub has scored an “Excellent” environmental assessment rating. The University claims that the building is environmentally-friendly, highlighting that its underground heat pump system helped achieve a 10% reduction in carbon emissions.

The West Hub will feature a cafeteria and a bar (Image credits: University of Cambridge)

Apart from providing new study spaces, the West Hub will host teaching for the Cambridge Foundation Year, a new free and fully-funded programme for potential Cambridge applicants who have “experienced educational disadvantage”. Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope commented that “It is fitting that such a new and innovative building should host such a new and innovative programme.” The West Hub will welcome its first Foundation Year students in the new academic year.

The West Hub is designed to “support collaboration and enterprise (Image credits: Ståle Eriksen)

The West Hub also acts as the first instalment of the University’s plan to build the West Cambridge Innovation District, a rework of West Cambridge site with pedestrianised plazas, central gardens, lakes, and urban orchards. Professor Adam Neely, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Relations, remarks, “[the West Hub] represents the start of the site’s transformation into a more outward-facing campus, to ‘put the science on show’, nurture the entrepreneurial strengths of the Cambridge Cluster, and take the University’s world-leading research and technology to the next level.”

Students and members of the public can access individual study pods (Image credits: Ståle Eriksen and University of Cambridge)

The West Hub can be accessed on foot, by bike from a nearby east-to-west cycle path, and is served by the U Bus service at William Gates Building and Cavendish Laboratory stations. 

Feature image credits: Ståle Eriksen