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Clare Hall College Cambridge

Clare Hall college Cambridge by architect Ralph Erskine

Clare Hall is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, founded in 1966 by Clare College, a college for advanced study, admitting only post graduate students alongside postdoctoral researchers and fellows.

The architect Ralph Erskine was appointed 1969 to design the buildings for Clare Hall which include common rooms, offices, dining facilities, a house for the President and 20 apartments for visiting fellows. Whilst the buildings where finished, the interiors for the college was never completed but left to their own device.

Magnus Englund and I where appointed in early 2018 to look at the interiors of the entrance space, common rooms and bar area to give them the identity they always deserved, mirroring the time and architecture of the building.

The entrance holds a large black and white photograph transferred on a plywood backdrop, showing the architect at his desk, working on the college drawings.

We chose a light neutral wall colour palette suitable to accompany the now amber coloured, low hanging wooden ceiling, adding colour instead to the furniture.

The entrance received a striped floor by Bolon, the common rooms a more silent version of same.

The furniture was chosen by Swedese, producing the Accent sofa with arm chairs and Primo chair by Ynge Ekström. These pieces, one can imagine, would have been chosen by the architect at the time the college was completed, fitting to accompany the architectural language. Additionally we chose simple round oak tables by architect Jonas Lindvall for Stolab with the classic Grand Prix chair by Arne Jacobsen.