Building will be a burden

February 14, 1997

Cambridge University's 150-acre expansion masterplan has run into difficulty, with one senior academic dismissing proposed building programmes as "wildly impractical".

Oliver Rackham, a botanist at Corpus Christi, told colleagues in the Senate House that the "ever-growing extent of new building will be a heavy burden". He cites the expensive maintenance costs of "buildings in the modernistic style". The History Building and Churchill College, he said, have needed major restorations in less than 30 years.

Vice chancellor Alec Broers unveiled a 25-year "masterplan" for a new engineering and science campus on the university's West Cambridge site two weeks ago.

Peter Carolin, professor of architecture, who had also expressed reservations, gave the plans his backing. "It is a very appropriate solution which grows up out of Cambridge as we know it."

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