GEZE UK says it has provided a breath
of fresh air to an ‘extraordinary facility’
which boasts academic excellence
and innovation. The refurbishment of
West Court – part of Jesus College, Cambridge –
incorporates GEZE’s natural ventilation system
to create what is described as ‘the ideal learning
It is integrated into four areas of the
development, including a conference room with
the iconic lantern tower, lobby and reception
area, and uses GEZE’s award-winning Slimchain
automatic window drive, managed by the WS
1000 indoor climate building control.
This is connected to a weather station and
together they balance internal conditions such
as air quality, temperature and humidity with
external elements such as rain and wind speeds to
achieve desired requirements.
Experts believe that improving indoor air quality
by utilising natural air flow significantly improves
cognitive performance – ideal for a building which
houses the College’s new Intellectual Forum, a
spearheading research organisation that applies
critical-thinking to global problems.
GEZE UK provided a full suite of natural
ventilation products which include Slimchain
window actuators for outward opening vents , DMS 5
open/close controllers, temperature sensors, weather
station and WS 1000 touch screen controller.
The Slimchain actuator range has many
applications and meets diverse requirements for
varying loads, upstroke lengths, opening widths
and the widest range of installation types. With a
maximum upstroke of 800mm, it achieves a large
aerodynamic opening width, meaning that it can
also be used in natural smoke and heat extraction
devices (SHEVs) in line with EN 12101-2.
Its discreet design proved to be the perfect
accompaniment to architect Niall McLaughlin’s
design which combined organic aesthetics with the
exacting demands of functionality to create a multipurpose
development within an historic setting.
AN AIR OF
GEZE’s natural ventilation system creates the ideal learning
environment at Jesus College, Cambridge.
West Court was a three-phase development
which involved the renovation of existing
buildings and incorporated part of the historic
Wesley House. This was a red-brick training
college for Methodist ministers designed by
Maurice Everett Webb but in the 1970’s, a section
spanning the city’s medieval King’s Ditch, was
filled with a contemporary building.
The McLaughlin practice was given the task of
envisaging a new frontage for the Jesus Lane infill
along with new parts to the building after winning a
competition when the project got underway in 2014.
It was funded, in part, by donations and bequests.
McLaughlin has used natural ash to clad the
building and this flows through to its interiors
which not only provides a natural look but also
helps to minimise noise within auditorium areas
from the busy road outside.
The windows can be concealed by wooden
louvred shutters which are a design feature
repeated around the building. These are not only
part of the aesthetic, and a possible nod to the
building’s historic setting, but have practical uses
including adjusting light levels when staging
lectures and presentations.
The facilities incorporate:
• A social centre, including a café-bar, common
rooms, and a dedicated student events space –
with its own micro-brewery
• An academic centre with lecture theatre
that seat 180 people, a suite of meeting and
interactive rooms equipped with state-of-the-art
audio visual facilities and offices for research
• Accommodation for visiting scholars.
• The Laura Case Medical Teaching Suite
West Court is also home to the Cambridge
Peking University China Centre.
Andy Howland, GEZE UK’s sales and
marketing director, said that he was thrilled that
GEZE’s natural ventilation and indoor climate
control system was incorporated into such a
“It is fascinating to think of the innovation and
creativity that will be generated by the world’s best
minds within West Court in the years to come. We
are delighted that GEZE UK was able to contribute
to functionality of a building with such fabulous
credentials in supporting wellbeing within an
esteemed educational establishment.”
APRIL 2018 | BUILDING PRODUCTS 57
GEZE UK provided
a full suite of