cowan court cambridge university

Cowan Court

Cowan Court is a student residence on Churchill College Campus, originally founded in 1960 as a memorial to former British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill.

Designed by 6a architects, Cowan Court brings a contemporary design to the original brutalist style.

Max Fordham designed an ambitious environmental strategy for the new building; minimal mechanical ventilation was installed within the student rooms with large insulated panel openings providing the necessary purge and cooling passive ventilation. This reduced the amount of embodied and consumed energy.

Heating and hot water distribution was achieved with a self balancing arrangement and minimal lateral pipework runs, minimising the overall heat loss through the pipework. Solar generated electricity and rainwater collection reduce the energy requirements further.

The original buildings had limited thermal insulation inherent in the original design. Cowan court was built with a mix of highly insulated wall elements and high performance double and triple glazed windows, including solar controlled glazing that simultaneously allowed high levels of daylight through to all areas.








Churchill College

Johan Dehlin Info
Bedroom glazing and insulated ventilation panels are sized to provide the right mix of light and air without overheating
Johan Dehlin Info
The courtyard planting helps to protect the corridor areas from direct sunlight in summer while allowing useful solar gain in winter
Johan Dehlin Info
LED lighting throughout coupled with local presence detection minimises operational energy use, enhancing the architectural finishes
Johan Dehlin Info
High amounts of glazing in the internal courtyard circulation spaces contributes towards the light airy environment
Johan Dehlin Info
High performance solar coatings on the glass and dense insulation in the roof delay the flow of solar radiation into the interiors, with discreetly mounted PV panels on the roof providing 10% of the regulated energy use