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HH 089

Hyatt Centric Hotel-SACO, Cambridge

A beautifully designed landscaping scheme by Robert Myers Associates, constructed by Gilbert-Ash. Frosts Landscape Construction were engaged by Gilbert-Ash to carry out the soft landscaping to this new hotel in Cambridge.

Read Case Study

The Project

  • Value £360K
  • Duration 5 Months
  • Location Cambridge
  • Architects Robert Myers Associates
  • Client SACO
  • Main Contractor Gilbert-Ash

Key Features

  • Soft Landscaping
  • Green Blue Urban Tree Cells
  • Semi-Maute Tree Planting
  • Shrubs and Herbaceous Planting
  • Ferns
  • Turf

Key Stats

  • 900m³
  • 104
  • 800
    Large Shrubs
  • 3,100
    Herbaceous Plants
  • 540
  • 1,100m²
HH 071
Root system

Project Challenges

  • Confined space due multiple trades occuping the same area
  • Coordination with other trades
  • Very hot weather during the tree planting period

Hyatt Centric Hotel-SACO, Cambridge

A beautifully designed landscaping scheme by Robert Myers Associates, constructed by Gilbert-Ash. Frosts Landscape Construction were engaged by Gilbert-Ash to carry out the soft landscaping to this new hotel in Cambridge.

Soft Landscaping

The Courtyard:

The ground floor courtyard forms a planted ‘oasis’, glimpsed from the surrounding streets through the adjacent undercroft spaces. Direct paths across the courtyard link the drop off area and cycle parking in Ryle Yard with Eddington Avenue and Ridgeway Place. The garden will be set at two levels: the main garden space at a lower level corresponding to the Hyatt ground floor, and raised terrace spaces in the north‐eastern corner approximately 1m higher relating to the floor level of the Locke building and Eddington Avenue.

The southern, shadier part of the garden is heavily planted as a stylised woodland with an inner circuit route forming a path around the space for gentle perambulation and sitting beneath trees. The plant beds are gently mounded to enhance the sense of privacy and create visual depth within the garden. The layout and planting have been designed to allow large numbers of people to enjoy the space in peace without feeling overlooked. The space will open up towards the north where a generous lawn will be surrounded by a circuit path and mounded planting.

Two paved terraces, partly in the open and partly sheltered by the undercroft, occupy the northeastern part of the space. The higher, northern terrace overlooks the lawn, with feathered steps leading down, and cater for spill‐out from the Locke cafe. The lower, southern terrace overlooks the woodland garden and will include outdoor seating for the Hyatt restaurant.

Undercroft Spaces

From Ridgeway Place to the south of the hotel, a wide undercroft space beneath the first floor of the Hyatt will ramp gently up to the internal garden level. This paved space contains a loose grid of raised planters arranged around the grid of building columns, some with small trees and some with wide timber seats attached. This space is large enough to cater for events such as outdoor cinema and pop‐up markets.

A second undercroft space flows beneath the building from Eddington Avenue between the Locke and Hyatt buildings, forming an important entrance space for the hotel. On the eastern side of the undercroft, grids of small trees in circular planters subdivide the space, creating places to sit and visually linking the courtyard and restaurant terraces with the street outside.

The selection of an evergreen planting palette, including dense shrubs, strategically located at the undercrofts, not only respond to the formal and informal uses of the two spaces but will also alleviate any wind tunnel effects.

Eddington Avenue

The existing trees, paving and planting on the street will be retained, but the swale planters have been modified in order to better relate to the building entrances and the diagonal route through the courtyard.

Ridgeway Place

Here the landscape treatment in the undercroft extends out onto the street, making the most of the sunny aspect. New street trees have been added to frame the building, extending the existing line of trees eastwards.

Podium Terrace:

A series of small podium gardens have been constructed on the first-floor roof to the north of the courtyard. This space provides individual, private terraces for each of the bedrooms, forming small, decked spaces separated by raised planters, with views down to the courtyard garden below. The planting is set in steel planters and contains a mixture of evergreen shrubs, grasses and herbaceous plants, set beneath a canopy of flowering specimen shrubs.

Turing Way Public Realm:

The positioning of the building will create a widened public realm to the north of the hotel. Here a new linear planter will be added, with trees and hardwood timber seats set at intervals. These planters help to accommodate the level changes between the street and building and separate pedestrians from the adjacent cycle path. The detailing will mirror Eddington Avenue to the east, with the ramped paths echoing the concrete bridges over the swales. Planting has been selected to cope with the shady conditions and public nature of the street.

Ryle Yard:

Ryle Yard will accommodate the vehicular service requirements of the hotel, including access to the hotel drop‐off area and undercroft car and cycle parking, as well as deliveries and refuse collection etc. New trees with a more vertical canopy will replace the existing trees in order to avoid potential damage from vehicles. These trees will relate well to the vertical articulation of the building.

Text is taken from Robert Myers Associates Management Plan

Photographs by Front Elevation Construction Photography

A beautifully designed landscaping scheme by Robert Myers Associates

Hyatt Centric Hotel-SACO, Cambridge Gallery

A look at the project through our photo and video gallery