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New Cambridge Judge dean hails ‘world’s most beautiful business school’



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In his first major interview, published in this week’s Cambridge Independent, new dean Prof Mauro Guillén has described the Cambridge Judge building on Trumpington Street as ‘the world’s most beautiful business school’.

The Cambridge Judge Business School was originally a hospital established in 1766. Picture: CJBS
The Cambridge Judge Business School was originally a hospital established in 1766. Picture: CJBS

The building housing the Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) is a refurbishment and extension of the old Addenbrooke’s Hospital, first established on the Trumpington Street site in 1766.

The original Georgian building was extended in 1824 and 1834 and underwent a major reconstruction designed by Matthew Digby Wyatt in 1866 which included a new facade, still largely in place. By 1961 patients started moving to the current Addenbrooke’s site: this process was complete in 1984, at which point the building remained empty for eight years, protected by its ‘listed’ status.

In 1991, generous benefactions from Sir Paul and Lady Anne Judge, together with the Monument Trust, provided the funds for the construction of a building for the newly formed School. The architect John Outram was appointed to the project which was completed in August 1995, and officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Outram created today’s floating staircases and the balconies in the gallery, arranged rather like opera boxes, designed to stimulate networking and collaborations.

Pro Mauro Guillén: ‘My first impression was that I was in the Mediterranean’. Picture: Keith Heppell
Pro Mauro Guillén: ‘My first impression was that I was in the Mediterranean’. Picture: Keith Heppell

“My hobby is architecture,” says CJBS’ fifth dean, Prof Mauro Guillén.

“The building is post-modernist – the architect is a post-modernist architect and it is, in my opinion, by a wide margin, the most beautiful business school in the world.

“On a sunny day it’s a festival of light. The columns soar from the ground level to six floors above, and in between the columns it’s all glass, and the wood panels throughout the building are in very vivid colours. They got rid of the walls, not the columns, from the building, it’s the most beautiful business building I’ve ever seen. My first impression was that I was in the Mediterranean.”

In 2018 the new Simon Sainsbury Centre opened. The four-storey, 5,000 sq m structure greatly expands lecture, breakout rooms, meeting and dining facilities while uniting CJBS’s activities under one roof.

“The new centre stands in sharp contrast with the original hospital building but they are connected and you wouldn’t even notice the transition,” Prof Guillén noted. “In spite of what Prince Charles said about British architecture, I think British architecture is the best in the world, especially in bringing back old buildings.

“It’s a great space to be in.”



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