Westbrook Centre

A new vision for the

Westbrook Centre

We want to see the Westbrook Centre become a leading life sciences and office campus that can be enjoyed by the wider community.

Our proposals for the Westbrook Centre will deliver:

Key Principles


Delivering new flexible office and laboratory space to support Cambridge’s economy


Providing new spaces for the local community to utilise and enjoy


Improving public realm to create new green spaces and enhance biodiversity


Enhancing connectivity to improve pedestrian and cyclist experience


Sustainable design that provides a blueprint for the climate emergency

In recent years, Cambridge has undergone a transformation, becoming an epicentre of High Tech and Life Sciences.
Our vision for the Westbrook Centre is to continue this successful transformation, providing flexible, high-quality office and laboratory accommodation to provide new employment opportunities and enhance the city’s reputation as a globally competitive science and business district.
Our aspiration for the site is to accommodate cutting-edge research to facilitate major advances in the sciences sector. Our proposals also include new co-working space which can be used by the local community.
Our plans for the Westbrook Centre have been shaped by the local community.
In May 2023, we held an introductory Listening Event to ascertain local aspirations for the site and understand how our plans can enhance the local community as well as Cambridge’s economy. Having reviewed all comments received to shape our initial plans, we held a public consultation in July 2023 to gather residents feedback on the emerging scheme design. We have also met with key local stakeholders to understand their perspectives on the future of the Westbrook Centre.
Our updated plans have incorporated all feedback received to ensure a scheme design that reflects local priorities.
At present, the site offers very limited public benefit. Our proposals will transform local experience of the site, delivering a building that local residents will be able to utilise and enjoy.
Our plans will open up the ground floor to the local community, with a public café, exhibition and conference space and flexible co-working space. Alongside this, we are also proposing a range of new landscape gardens open to all, with new gathering points and play areas.
Following the public consultation, we have increased the amount of external public amenity space to maximise benefits for the local community.
Sensitivity to the surrounding area has been a key focus in the design evolution of the proposed new development.
Prioritising landscape and public realm, the proposals remove the majority of the existing surface car parks and roadways to return these to public gardens. The gardens, which provide a games area, café terrace, fitness spaces, zones of quiet reflection and outdoor working pavilions, embrace the buildings at the centre of the site.
Respecting the varied heights and scales of the surrounding context the designs provide 3 buildings which step in height to respond to three broadly defined character areas. Materially, the neighbourhood predominantly consists of brick buildings with punched glazed windows. Correspondingly the proposed building envelopes are brick, in 3 separate colours to reflect the local character areas, and are articulated with recesses and steps in their facades to respond to the rhythm and order of the surrounding properties.
At the heart of the development is a single storey communal reception. The space is focused on a central ‘rainwater garden’ connecting arrival, secure cycle hub, co-working areas, meeting rooms and the public café with its outdoor terrace. This social hub aims to maximise interaction of occupiers and provide a vibrant new amenity for the local community.
Our public realm improvements will focus on providing green spaces to create pleasant, breathable areas while delivering a biodiversity net-gain to enhance the local environment.
In addition to a new cycle hub and pedestrian routes, we will provide a number of new green communal areas including outdoor workspace, meadow rain gardens, a games garden and a play area. We are also proposing an extensive planting programme, with 164 new trees and wild gardens to support local wildlife. A new arrival plaza will also include seating, step-free access, cycle parking and vehicles drop off.
Our aim is to make the site greener and safer, creating an inviting environment for both employees and the local community.
Our new landscaped Amenity Areas will include:
Steppe Garden

Steppe Garden

This large area of biodiverse mosaic planting will complement the publicly accessible front terrace. It will include seating and a programmable events terrace, and will provide an outdoor area for the cafe.

Games Garden

This will focus on active recreation, with sports and play equipment provided for a range of activities within a garden setting.

Space for children to play

Alongside formal play areas in the games garden, informal, family-oriented design throughout the meadow rain garden will foster play and creativity.

Meadow Rain Garden

This will set the building within a green and biodiverse landscape, with extensive planting to foster biodiversity. The garden will also include a planted perimeter path.

Outdoor workspaces

Outdoor workspaces

These landscaped areas are designed to draw creativity from lab culture, offering areas for colleagues to collaborate and exchange ideas.

All images are concept precedents

Our Landscape Masterplan

We want to improve connectivity across the site to encourage the community to visit and enjoy the new public areas.
Our access strategy is focused on improving the cycle and pedestrian experience, with the perimeter road reclaimed for publicly accessible landscape space. We will improve pedestrian access for better linkages with public transport and local amenities, alongside new cycle routes and enhanced cycle provision including a cycle hub a new arrival plaza.
We have also reduced car-parking provision to encourage sustainable transport and respond to local concern around traffic in the area.
Road access to Lilywhite drive from Milton Road will be maintained and servicing will be via two servicing areas, one to the south and one to the north.
‘Proposals for new access points linking with Corona Road, Gilbert Road and Lillywhite Drive had been removed from the proposed development. The landscape has been designed so it can accommodate access should it be deemed necessary or desirable in the future.’
Our aspiration for the Westbrook Centre is to provide a design blueprint for the climate emergency. Our plans will make effective use of a brownfield site to deliver a building with enhanced energy performance and a unique water management strategy.
Our proposals will retain the existing basement and sub-structure, while recycling as much of the materials from the existing building as possible. Our design will also incorporate a range of climate-resilient features to achieve BREEAM Excellent at minimum.