The plans for St John’s Innovation Park, designed by architect firm Sheppard Robson, have been approved by Cambridge City Council.

The plans are for two new office buildings, a transport hub, and a new civic square at the heart of the development. The new development, managed by Turnstone Estates, is designed to sit alongside a newly landscaped public space, with its entrances facing the green space.

The design features a strong but simple architectural form, with a series of external cutaways, demonstrated most clearly in the Dirac Building, which uses the cutaways to form external amenity spaces to the building.

The double-height cutaway of the building emphasises its entrance, designed to be close to and easily accessible from the surrounding public realms. A similar idea is demonstrated on the upper levels of the building, which has a cutaway used as a rooftop terrace, offering a view towards central Cambridge.

David Ardill, partner at Sheppard Robson said “It’s fantastic to see this ambitious project progress. Right across our industry, we are seeing a convergence of traditional workplace and spaces for science, technology and R&D; Cambridge is the epicentre of this change, and this project looks to create a new workplace community with landscape at its heart.”

Chris Goldsmith, managing director of Turnstone Estates said “This is an important step in the development of St John’s Innovation Park and the continued growth of the Cambridge economy. These new architecturally striking workspaces will resonate with the next generation of innovators in technology and R&D and attract those looking for accessible, well-connected, best-in-class buildings in the northern Cambridge Cluster.”

Suzie Wood, investment property manager at St John’s College said “This next phase of development is part of the college’s long-term strategic vision for St John’s Innovation Park to continue to both support our current dynamic and ambitious companies and welcome new organisations too. Today’s approval not only marks an exciting chapter of fresh growth in the north east Cambridge research and development cluster, but also benefits the health and well-being of all those at the Park with the provision of new open spaces for relaxation and interaction, and a fitness studio open to all tenants.”

The buildings both offer 85,000 sq. ft of space, with each floor plate designed to be able to accommodate up to four occupiers with maximum flexibility for firms at all stages of development.

The buildings also provide cycle storage, with the nearby hub providing car parking and a gym, with green rooves promoting biodiversity and sustainability.

It is anticipated that phase one of the development will be the Dirac Building, named after Paul Dirac (Nobel Prize winner for Physics (1933) and fellow of St John’s College (1969-1984) and the transport hub.

Image source- Sheppard Robson

© Eastern Echo (powered by

Sign up to receive your free Eastern Echo newsletter every other week here.