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Cambridge Design and Construction Awards

Photos: 2b Derwent Close (photo by Richard Fraser), 33 and 34 Trumpington Street, and Marmalade Lane (photo by David Butler) – all winners in 2019

Together with our sponsors, Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry (CFCI), we have held design awards annually since 1988.

Cambridge is growing and we want to celebrate the more recent, high quality, developments that have been built in the city. As part of this commitment, the terms and conditions of our Cambridge Design and Construction Awards (CDCAs) have developed over time and are regularly reviewed. 

There are six main categories for entries that will be organised by the city council:

  • Best new building (under £2m construction costs)
  • Best new building (over £2m construction costs)
  • Best conservation, alteration or extension of an existing building (under £2m construction costs)
  • Best conservation, alteration or extension of an existing building (over £2m construction costs)
  • New neighbourhoods (awarded once every three years, next to be awarded in 2020)
  • Best new landscape (awarded once every three years, next to be awarded in 2021)

Until 2017, there was a single award for the best conservation, alteration or extension of an existing building. From 2018, it was split into two awards, for schemes that cost more or less than £2m.

In addition to the six main awards, and at the judges' discretion, commendations may be awarded each year for works in the public realm and also for good examples of sustainable design and construction.

Other categories will be presented at the same event as the CDCAs. These categories are judged by experts in their field appointed by the CFCI. The awards are:

  • Young Professional of the Year
  • Craftsmanship Award
  • Engineering and Sustainability Project of the Year Award
  • Site Manager of the Year 

The presentation of all the awards will be made in spring 2021.

2019 winners

It was not possible to hold a presentation evening for the 2019 winners and commendations, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry (CFCI) compiled a digital presentation.

  • Best new large building
    • Joint winner: Cambridge Assessment by Eric Parry Architects
    • Joint winner: Marmalade Lane by Mole Architects, and TOWN and Trivselhus
    • Commendation: Royal Papworth Hospital by Skanska and Architect HOK
    • Commendation: The Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre by Haworth Tompkins
  • Best new small building: 2b Derwent Close by Haysom Ward Miller
  • Best large conservation, alteration or extension: The Simon Sainsbury Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School by Stanton Williams
  • Best small conservation, alteration or extension
    • Joint winner: The David Parr House by Cowper Griffith Architects, F A Valiant & Son and Simon Swan Associates
    • Joint winner: 33 and 34 Trumpington Street by Bidwells
    • Commendation: Fitzwilliam Museum Gallery III by ama Chartered Architects

Previous winners are listed at the bottom of the page.


The criteria for the main CDCAs are:

  • design excellence - a building of overall architectural merit
  • design appropriate to the context
  • good quality of workmanship
  • good quality materials - including durability
  • sustainability - carbon performance, environmental design, creative approach to site constraints, future adaptability

Any completed schemes within a 5km radius from Great St Mary's Church in the centre of Cambridge can be entered.

Our panel of six judges include representatives from the sponsors as well as an expert with knowledge of Cambridge's buildings and their design and construction. The Chair of the Planning Committee will also be on the panel of judges.

The criteria for the five awards to be judged by the CFCI will be:

  • Young Professional of the Year: from all sectors of the property industry, lawyers to architects, engineers to surveyors, who inspire those around them, and challenge themselves and their colleagues
  • Craftsmanship Award: exhibiting quality in their work, using their knowledge of materials to show a level of expertise and detail, with skill in the application. Ultimately there is precision and beauty in the end result
  • Engineering and Sustainability Project of the Year: projects that demonstrate engineering excellence in civil, structural, mechanical and electrical or construction engineering
  • Site Manager of the Year: a top quality site manager who builds teamwork and drives projects to successful completion ensuring customer satisfaction

How to enter

The awards will be presented in spring 2021. Entries must be received in the city council offices by 30 November 2020 at the very latest, to allow for short listing and site visits in January and February 2021.

Submit your entry here

For the main CDCA applications, entrants must submit an entry form, an A1 illustrative board explaining the proposal, accompanied by one side of A4 giving the project brief and the companies or individuals involved. Please state on the entry form the category for which the entry is being made. In addition to the hard copies, individual photographs of the scheme must be submitted in an electronic format on either a CD or memory stick. Along with the entry form, the A1 board and the A4 sheet, the entry must include the name of a contact who would be able to coordinate a site visit should the project be shortlisted.

The boards will be used during the judging as well as possibly being displayed in an area of the city centre where the general public can view them. In addition, the CFCI and Cambridge City Council will use them on their websites to inform visitors to the sites which entries won, and to promote the awards in subsequent years.

Some of the short listed entries will be asked to give a short presentation at the awards presentation evening.

All entries for the CFCI awards also need to be submitted to the city council by the same date, 30 November 2020.

For the Young Professional of the Year, contact for an application form.

Entrants for the new Craftsmanship Award and the Engineering and Sustainability Project of the Year award, should submit an A1 illustrative board. For the Engineering and Sustainability Project of the Year, two sides of A4 giving the project brief, the companies or individuals involved, and a summary of the engineering excellence delivered as part of the project must also be submitted. For the Craftsmanship Award an A4 sheet explaining the project should accompany the A1 illustrative board. As well as hard copies, you will need to submit electronic copies in pdf format for both of these awards.

Any A1 boards submitted for the main awards can be used for these additional awards too. Just ensure that you select the relevant categories on the entry form.

For the Site Manager of the Year, you need to complete an application form and submit up to three images or drawings of projects, events or supporting material. Contact to ask for an application form.

All entries for the CDCAs must be projects that were completed prior to their submission. They should be submitted to Susan Smith, Principal Conservation Officer at the Guildhall. Contact or 01223 457000 if you have any questions.

We look forward to receiving your entries!

Previous winners

2018 winners

  • Best new large building: Storey’s Field Centre by MUMA
    • Commendation: The Dorothy Garrod Building by Walters & Cohen Architects
    • Commendation: Lot 1, Eddington by Wilkinson Eyre and Mole Architects
  • Best new small building: 73 Sedgwick Street by Mole Architects
  • Best new landscape: The Rising Path, Cambridge University Botanic Garden by Chadwick Dryer Clarke Studio
    • Commendation: Lot A, Eddington by AECOM and the University of Cambridge
    • Commendation: Storey’s Field Centre courtyard by MUMA
  • Best conservation: Fitzwilliam Museum restoration of Founder’s Entrance Hall and Lantern by ama Architects
  • Best alteration or extension: 114 Mill Road by Studio 24 Architects
    • Commendation: Bidwell House by Bidwells
    • Commendation: Cherry Hinton Hall by Chadwick Dryer Clarke Studio

2017 winners

  • Best new large building
    • Joint winner: Ryle Yard, Eddington by Maccreanor Lavington and Witherford Watson Mann
    • Joint winner: The Stephen Perse Foundation, Union Road by Chadwick Dryer Clarke Studio
    • Joint winner: The Bradfield Centre, The Science Park by Aukett Swanke Architects
  • Best new small building: The Garage, 46 St Andrew’s Road by ashworth parkes architects limited
    • Commendation: 30 Newton Road by Lawrence Coussell
  • Best conservation, alteration or extension of an existing building: West Court Phase 1, Jesus College by Nìall McLaughlin Architects
    • Commendation: Wesley House, Jesus Lane by Cowper Griffith Architects
  • Best new neighbourhood: Eddington by North West Cambridge Development
    • Commendation: Magna, Harrison Drive by bptw partnership

2016 winners

  • Best new large building: Cowan Court, Churchill College by 6A Architects
  • Best new small building: Nelson Court, Trafalgar Road by Studio 24 Architects
    • Commendation: The Gardener's Stores, Jesus College by Once Architects
  • Best conservation, alteration or extension of an existing building: The David Attenborough Building by Nicholas Hare Architects
    • Commendation: The Butterfly House, Gwydir Street by Ashworth Parkes Architects

2015 winners

  • Best new large building: Anglia Ruskin University Young Street Campus by Richard Murphy Architects
    • Commendation for design: University of Cambridge Primary School by Marks Barfield Architects
    • Commendation for sustainability and design: 51 Hills Road for Jesus College by Gort Scott
  • Best conservation, alteration or extension of an existing building: New Court, Trinity College by 5th Studio

2014 winners

  • Best new large building: Ceres, CB1, by Pollard Thomas Edwards for Hill
    • Commendation: Eden Street Backway, by Once Architecture Ltd for Jesus College
  • Best new neighbourhood: Abode, Great Kneighton, by Proctor and Matthews Architects for Countryside Properties plc
  • Best conservation, alteration or extension of an existing building
    • Joint winner: School of Pythagoras, St John's College by Caroe Architecture
    • Joint winner: EF Language School, Hills Road, by NRAP Architects Ltd
    • Commendation: Arts Theatre, Peas Hill, by Burrell Foley Fischer

2013 winners

  • Conservation of an existing building: The Old Divinity School, St John's College, by Annand and Mustoe Architects
  • Alteration or extension of an existing building: The McGrath Centre, St Catharine's College by R H Partnership Architects Ltd
  • Commendation for social, economic and environmental sustainability: The Future Business Centre, King's Hedges Road

2012 winners

  • Best alteration or extension of an existing building: The Nook, Cherry Hinton Road, by NRAP Architects Ltd
  • Best conservation of an existing building: Pembroke College Hall, by NRAP Architects Ltd
  • Commendation for sustainability: 130-132 Chesterton Road, by AC Architects Cambridge Ltd
  • Commendation for public realm: Alison Richard Building, West Road, by Nicholas Hare Architects Ltd

Pre-2012: The David Urwin Awards

The Cambridge Design and Construction Awards replaced our previous award scheme in 2012.

The David Urwin Awards celebrated the design of new and extended or altered buildings in Cambridge. They were established in 1988 in honour of a former planning officer at the city council.