Is West Hub your new Cambridge study space?
Quest to West: Sarah and Ruby take on the new West Hub
Sarah Swift and Ruby Cline took a visit to the new West Hub, which opened on the 26th April as a cross-subject study space. Here’s what they like – and what they don’t.
[Ruby] As a Medwardian, anything that central students have to cycle to is personally satisfying. That being said, the West Site’s almost Girtonian location did irritate my post-clubbing Doc Marten blisters.
Actually getting to the building was quite confusing. Apparently there are two opposing entrances so commuters can travel easily through. I could find neither, but eventually a door was found and it was time to get studying.
The Hub’s Operations Manager has noted that a new external map will be published to help with this.
[Sarah] The site is a step apart from past Cambridge architecture, not just because of how much orange it featured (so. much. orange.) but because of the shiny, modern, tech-y feel.
The whole layout is incredibly well thought out, with every space designed around its intended purpose. The spaces range from the ground floor – the chattiest, most collaboration oriented area – up to the intense study areas on the second floor (where the library is also located) which are the quietest.
There were sockets everywhere! You will not be at risk of a flat battery and will not have to fight anyone for the charging points, unlike many other study spaces in Cambridge.
[Sarah] The site has a variety of food and drink options including a cafe, buttery and even a little shop, which is a game changer if you’re anything like me and get snacky mid essay crisis. The shop, located right by the entrance, had all the necessities for an extended study sesh, such as snacks, energy drinks and painkillers.
The buttery serves hot meals including breakfast – they are a little steep with a main coming in at £4.80 and a meal deal at £7.50.
We did get a chance to test out the cafe – the three pound coffee did hurt my frugal student soul a little bit, but it was a decent coffee (and there’s no requirement to buy anything in order to use the spaces)!
The Operations Manager has commented that there is a range of food offered at different price points, and a new Cafe Bar will be opening at the Hub soon.
[Ruby] One of the most important judgements of any study space in my opinion is how easy it is to not study (one of my favourite hobbies).
The West Site certainly had options – with so many possible seating options, your local procrastinator could spend hours deciding where to go without ever getting anything done.
The contemplation rooms allow for structured let’s-do-nothing-for-a-bit time, and even have curtains so you can’t feel shamed by people being more productive outside the door!
The seating areas, however, are set up in a way where you can see others work…and they can see you. Potentially the peer pressure is a good thing for your degree honestly.
Can you duck-ing believe it?
[Ruby] We had a quick chat with Anna Steeden, Operations Manager about the whole affair. She let us know that the building is fueled by 80% renewable energy and proceeded to explain how in language I, a humble HSPSer, couldn’t even begin to transcribe.
The first floor terrace was sadly closed, but Steeden let us know that this was because of a nesting duck! Apparently the mother duck had kept them company for two months now. While this sadly meant no terrace access for us, I am personally impressed by any management who are dedicated to duck welfare.
West Hub is definitely worth a visit. With all the seating and caffeine you could possibly wish for, brush the cobwebs off your bike and take a visit.
Unless, of course, you’re not a fan of orange.
Feature image credits: Ruby Cline