Mud scale model of Cambridge University site complete
- 7 June 2014
- From the section Cambridgeshire
Artists and volunteers have created a mud and straw scale model of a £1bn Cambridge University development.
The "buildings", made from material known as cob, represent the first phase of the University's North West development.
The 90m-long model was built on the site from top soil left over from archaeological excavations of the area.
Construction of the actual buildings including 1,300 homes, a school and shops will begin later this year.
The public artwork was created in six weeks by artists Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie to give people an idea of what the finished development will look like.
The project continued despite some very wet weather which made the cob "too wet" and "knocked a few corners off some of the big structures" requiring repairs, according to Ms Guthrie.
The artists were assisted by about 60 volunteers, who were taught the techniques of working with cob during workshops.
Ms Guthrie said most of the volunteers were from the local area, but some came from further afield, including a couple who travelled from Ireland.
The project was inspired by archaeological excavations undertaken on the site prior to any building work beginning.
Ms Guthrie said "physically working with the soil from holes excavated by the archaeologists... couldn't be more different to going to a lecture on the archaeology of the site".
"You're handling the very mud and soil and materials that was inhabited by people living here thousands of years ago," she said.
The scale model has been created on land not scheduled for building and Ms Guthrie hopes it will be remain on the site for many years.
Outline planning permission for the full development, which will include 3,000 homes and accommodation for 2,000 postgraduate students together with research and community facilities, was granted in February last year.