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New Museums Site, University of Cambridge, UK

The New Museums Site is an esteemed area of the University of Cambridge that houses various departments, as well as two museums and is located within a conservation area.

Made up of grand Victorian buildings, it has a distinguished place in history where key scientific discoveries have been made – with neutrons, electrons and the splitting of the atom all unearthed here.

With the site undergoing redevelopment for the demolition and upgrading of historic buildings, new facilities, as well as improvements to the public realm, it was important to develop a sustainable plan that provided a fresh identity while ensuring it remained a highly desirable place to study.

Working alongside landscape architects LDA Design, wayfinding consultants Homes Wood and the University of Cambridge, Michael Grubb Studio was challenged with the task of developing a robust lighting strategy that could be implemented, in phases, over the next 10-15 years.

A primary requirement was to establish a clear sense of place after dark. The lighting strategy looked to create a cohesive lit environment, using appropriate levels of light without ever over lighting.

This approach will encourage movement between departments and will improve the perception of a safe and secure environment after hours.

It is envisaged that the Lighting Strategy will be implemented in a series of phases over several years (Phase 1 already onsite). With this in mind, the lighting strategy document established key strategic principles that will help guide future lighting proposals and always ensuring a cohesive look after dark.


University of Cambridge

Scope of Works

Inception & Mobilisation, Research & Development, Outline Proposals, Detailed Design & Production Information, Construction, Focusing, Programming & Commissioning

Design Team

LDA Design, Homes Wood & Michael Grubb Studio


Cambridge, UK