This building is an unusual combination of a 231 key Ibis hotel above the largest cycle park in the UK. The site is very prominent indeed, forming part of the new public square at the entrance to Cambridge from the mainline station. The masterplan for the area (known as CB1) identified the need for a major cycle facility in this location and proposed that it could be part-funded by creating a hotel above. The Cambridge based developer Brookgate asked Formation Architects to design the building.
Sven Topel, Chief Executive, Brookgate
The main façade of the hotel plays an important role defining one side of the new public square, an important gateway into Cambridge. The entrance to the new cycle park also has a civic presence as does the retail, restaurant and hotel entrance providing active frontage at ground floor.
During the process of designing the building a deal was signed with Accor under their IBIS brand and the layout was adapted to meet their specification criteria. Issues of acoustics from the adjacent railway were also addressed. After protracted negotiations with Cambridge Planning Department, the design was granted consent and construction began with Formation Architects novated to Galliford Try to complete the building.
The cycle park is by far the largest such facility in the UK with space for 2,850 bicycles over several levels. The success of the project has led to several other projects in Cambridge with the same developer including another new-build hotel.