Job Done - New courtyard and landscape for Cambridge college hall

Project: Landscaping at Clare Hall College

Client: University of Cambridge

Contractor: LiZLaKe

Landscape architect and urban design firm LiZLaKe began working on plans for a courtyard and landscape around a new student accommodation block at the University of Cambridge's Clare Hall College in 2008.

Due to the site being flood-prone, LiZLaKe worked with the Environment Agency to incorporate alleviation facilities in the masterplan, including a mitigation pond designed to flood during periods of high water levels. Native rushes and grasses were planted to create wildlife habitat and encourage biodiversity and a backwater was created to enhance the landscape around the new building.

Plans had to be amended a number of times due to stipulations from Cambridge City Council that some trees had to be kept. Non-native trees were removed and replaced with native species such as larch, birch and willow, while Himalayan birch were planted in the courtyard in recognition of an Asian donor who provided part of the project's funding.

Plans for the entire project including the accommodation block were given the go-ahead in July 2008 and on completion of the building LiZLaKe carried out a six-week installation of the courtyard and landscape. The project was completed in 2010.

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