After several years of building work, including the construction of a temporary bridge over the Cam and erection of a crane in the Master’s garden, Clare College marked the official opening of the River Room on the 14th December 2024. The building was positioned within a narrow wedge of land between two brick gardens walls, this construction was incredibly challenging with all building works assembled onsite, and machinery and materials brought in via the temporary bridge. The integration of new facilities within the historic fabric of the Old Court is both ingenious and impressive.

What was once a warran of under-utilised spaces has now been transformed into a social space for all College members to enjoy. With spectacular views over the Cam, the cafe provides seating for over 70 people and has already become a popular place for students, staff and Fellows to have a cup of coffee, meets friends, discuss their work, or simply relax and watch the world go by. 

Liz Lake Associates designed the planting and hard works with WWM, retaining as much existing planting as possible whilst integrating with a new fernery and shade garden. 

CGI image courtesy of WWM Architects.