For high resolution images, further design information or interview/film/ photo opportunity, contact Pamela Rule-McCarthy, on 01223 576 315 or email
Anne Cooper
Anne Cooper, the director of AC Architects, was recently asked to contribute an article for the 'New Hall Society Review and Murray Edwards College Report', which has now been published. A theme of ‘The Creative Process’ features five college alumnae from very different working environments, writing about experiences from their careers.

In her article, Anne writes about the challenges of setting up a practice whilst her children were young; her architectural consultancy for Murray Edwards College (formerly New Hall) and what initially drew her to a career in architecture.
Brick detail
The Autumn/Winter edition of the Cambridge Association of Architects Gazette features an article entitled ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ by Anne Cooper, director of AC Architects Cambridge Ltd. This is an abridged version of an essay originally written as part of a Historic Buildings Course and argues against homogenisation of the Cambridge cityscape through a misguided application of conservation legislation.

The full article can be read here: Another Brick in the Wall
The Team!
AC Architects recently attended an open morning at the Anglia Lime Company in Sudbury, Suffolk.

This CPD event furthered the team’s knowledge of working with and specifying lime. The morning started with discussions comparing the traditional and contemporary materials and the team received guidance on specifying mortars and renders including maintenance requirements appropriate to the work we undertake. A short presentation outlining the lime cycle was followed by having a go at pargeting; applying detailed ornamentation to freshly plastered surfaces. East Anglia is the traditional home of pargeting so the Suffolk location was very appropriate.

A few of us were even able to try our hand at plastering using techniques of both hand float and spray machine- some with more success than others!

AC Architects staff
The team from AC Architects recently enjoyed a trip to two local quarries. This CPD visit, hosted by the Stamford Stone Company, was an opportunity to see the raw block being transformed into masonry and walling stone.

Lincolnshire limestone is a natural stone which has been used since Roman times in a range of buildings including Windsor Castle; King’s College Chapel, Cambridge; York Minster and restoration work to the Houses of Parliament.

The journey between Clipsham Medwells and Swaddywell quarries via Stamford, "the finest stone town in England", offered plenty of stunning examples of this local building material. Seeing the varied character of the stone, combined with a day of glorious Autumn weather made for a memorable office outing.
Rowan model
The imaginative Mitcham’s Models Exhibition culminated in an auction of the various mannequins, raising £3,660 for Tom’s Trust, a Cambridge charity set up to support children with brain tumours.

Where are they now? Having attracted the attention of many users and passers-by in the Mitcham’s Corner area, the models are hopefully still continuing to delight or intrigue those who encounter them in their new settings!

This figure, now proudly owned by Anne Cooper, the Director of AC Architects Cambridge, was created by students and staff of Rowan, a local arts charity for learning-disabled.

For more information about the Mitcham’s Models Exhibition please go to: Mitcham’s Models
For more information about Tom’s Trust please go to: Tom’s Trust
Ely Cathedral
AC Architects recently celebrated success in 2013 with an outing to the neighbouring city of Ely.

A sunny walk with views of the cathedral, followed by lunch at The Old Fire Engine House, was greatly enjoyed by all.
Open Eco Home Detail
AC Architects congratulate Cambridge Carbon Footprint on the recent 4th Annual Open Eco Homes Event. This initiative offers members of the public a unique opportunity to tour low-energy homes and meet the owners. Our own projects have regularly featured in previous events and this year was no exception - please click on CASE STUDY for further details.

This and other examples of sustainable projects can be viewed via the website About Open Eco Homes

Remember to check again in spring for the 2014 event!
Sustainability Commendation
AC Architects were delighted to receive a commendation for our work at 130-132 Chesterton Road at a recent event sponsored by Cambridge City Council, the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry and Cambridge News. We have extensive experience in Cambridge-based projects and take great pride in seeing reminders of our work as we go about our daily business, so we are particularly pleased that this is ‘in recognition of their contribution to the buildings and townscape of the City of Cambridge.’
Chesterton Road
AC Architects is delighted that one of our projects, 130-132 Chesterton Road, has been nominated for the People’s Choice award, chosen by the public and part of the new Cambridge Design and Construction Awards. Our brief was to redesign a bay-fronted Victorian house, upgrading the building fabric and improving the overall energy-efficiency. For more details of this eye-catching design, please visit our Residential Projects section.

Interior view
AC Architects are sub-letting a ground floor room at the rear of 35 Victoria Road, Cambridge. Suitable for a small business with space for about 3 to 4 people, the room is about 25 square meters in area, has a car parking space and shared use of a meeting room.

The room is sunny, comfortable and quiet and has independently lockable doors from the shared corridor, meeting room, toilet and kitchen area. It is fully serviced with heating, ventilation, cleaning and electrics provided and with modern phone and data points that can be connected to a telecoms provider (Virgin cable and BT are currently used in the building).

Being in 35 Victoria Road, the award winning AC Architects central city mixed use development, gives this small office impeccable environmental credentials. The underfloor heating is powered by ground source heat pump, there is natural passive stack ventilation, solar shading, high levels of thermal insulation, and solar heated water.

The room is available now. For more details contact AC Architects on 01223 576315
Architect in the House
This hugely successful scheme run by homelessness and housing charity Shelter, and the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA) continues to offer a great opportunity for homeowners to discuss changes to their home with a local architect.

It couldn’t be easier: an Architect with extensive experience in home improvements and extensions will give up their time for free to offer an hour-long consultation in your home, in return for a suggested £45 donation to Shelter.

For more information or to sign up, please email us at - Just put ‘Architect in the House’ (or AITH) as the subject heading of your message and include your name, address and telephone number together with a brief message and you will be contacted in due course.

Consultations will be arranged on a first come, first served basis and will take place between July and November 2013.

We look forward to hearing from you!

For further information on Architect in the House, please go to www.architectureinthehouse
Warm Homes
Anne Cooper recently participated in the Cambridge Carbon Footprint event ‘Warm Homes in Trumpington’, giving the introductory talk and leading a visit to a pair of adjoining houses to suggest or highlight energy-efficient improvements. The full-day event also included talks and visits by representatives from Cambridge City Council, Transition Cambridge, green technology companies and an insulation specialist.

For further information, plus the chance to watch a video of Anne giving advice, please follow this link:
CCF Trumpington Videos
Archaeological finds
AC Architects Cambridge Ltd has completed work on a new-build house featuring a 5.2m rammed-earth wall, believed to be the tallest in a UK residence. The brief to design a sustainable, low-energy family home led to the use of this ancient low-cost, sustainable technique where soil is compacted into a temporary shuttering.

The rammed-earth structure not only provides thermal mass, but materials can be cheaply and locally sourced, have a low embodied energy and generate little waste. The wall creates an architectural focus, further enhanced in this case by incorporating finds from an archaeological dig at the site.
Green Home
Cambridge Carbon Footprint recently invited practice director, Anne Cooper, to carry out two separate ‘open’ consultations at members’ homes. Anne’s extensive experience of sustainable architecture was put to the test when she conducted on-the-spot appraisals and gave her recommendations for energy-efficient measures.

A Victorian terrace and a 1930s detached house were the respective venues for each of these fully-booked events.
AC Architects at the RIBA
A new RIBA exhibition, guest curated by Sarah Beeney, charts the story of the design and appeal of everyday homes in the UK. It explores the characteristics of a British obsession and the experiments that have shaped how and where we live.

AC Architects work closely with clients to realise their plans for desirable and practical homes. Our recent visit to this exhibition was a chance to put this in context through a history of major influences on housing from the late 18th century to the present day.

The exhibition is showing until April 28th, at the RIBA, Gallery 1, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD. Admission is free. For full details please go to:
Birdseye view of Mitchams Corner
Practice director, Anne Cooper, has attended meetings of The Friends of Mitchams Corner since their inauguration in 2010. The group was founded ‘ to protect the interests of residents, local traders and others working in the area of Mitcham's Corner, Cambridge.’ Anne has recently become Chair of the committee, reinforcing AC Architects work in the local community.

For further information, please visit
AC Architects at the Hockerton Housing Project
AC Architects recently spent a day at the Hockerton Housing Project in Nottinghamshire - the UK’s first earth sheltered, self-sufficient ecological housing development. All five houses in the project generate their own clean energy, harvest their own water and recycle waste materials causing no pollution or carbon dioxide emissions. The visit was a valuable opportunity to see ultra low-energy homes and lifestyles in practice and offered much to think about.

For further details, including how to visit the project, please go to
Green-Enterprise logo
Anne Cooper will give a presentation to local, not-for-profit group ‘Green-Enterprise’ on Monday 24th October from 7.30-9.30pm, at The Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane, Cambridge. She will discuss some of AC Architects’ areas of expertise and the work involved in becoming recognised as ‘Green’ architects.

For further details about attending Anne’s talk or information about the Green Enterprise Community, please visit
Meeting image
Director, Anne Cooper, has been invited to join Cambridge City Council’s Building Control Customer User Panel. The panel consists of a wide range of construction professionals including representatives from Cambridge University, architects, surveyors, engineers and building contractors. Meeting quarterly, it provides a forum for distribution of information and feedback between the City Council’s Building Control department and users of the service.
Image ID 00169
AC Architects Cambridge Ltd has participated in the annual ‘Architect in the House’ scheme since 2009 and continued to support the vital work done by the housing and homelessness charity all year round. Through both Architect in the House and our own ‘Home Designs’ scheme, we are delighted to have helped raise over £1,500 for this important cause.

It’s now possible to sign up for Home Designs with AC Architects Cambridge Ltd!

Applications can no longer be made via the dedicated AITH website but we will continue to offer 1 hour, no-obligation consultations for a suggested £40.00 donation to Shelter, whenever our diaries permit. Please contact us via to arrange an appointment.
Anne Cooper & Simon Ruffle in the garden of their 'Eco-Home'
On Thursday 2nd June 2011, the ‘Cambridge News’ featured a double-page spread highlighting some of the homes participating in the ‘Open Eco Homes’ event, including Anne Cooper’s own.

(Photograph courtesy of Cambridge Newspapers Ltd.)

Anne has also been interviewed by BBC Look East (televised on Friday 10th June) and The Sunday Telegraph (published 12th June) in connection with this event.

The Sunday Telegraph Property Section, 12/06/2011
Open Eco Homes poster
Practice director, Anne Cooper, will again be opening her own home to the public on Sunday 26th June as part of this year’s ‘Open Eco Homes’ event, organised by Cambridge Carbon Footprint (CCF). Two other eco-renovations designed by AC Architects Cambridge Ltd are also showcased during this event, highlighting our expertise in this area. Please note: all visits must be booked in advance through CCF by calling 0800 512 012.

A case study of the work Anne has carried out on her home can be viewed by clicking on the following link:
Case Study - Home Number 15

Our other eco-renovations can be viewed via
Case Study - Home Number 3
And also
Case Study - Home Number 7

Case studies of all the homes featured during ‘Open Eco Homes’ are available on
Case Studies
as are links to ‘Cycle Streets’, offering cycle route-planning options to keep things as low-energy as possible!
Open Eco Homes Logo
Anne Cooper joins a panel of Eco Experts to answer questions from the public on a wide variety of sustainable issues. ‘Eco Renovation Question Time’ will be held at St Luke’s Centre, Victoria Road, Cambridge, CB4 3DZ from 7.30-9.30pm on Friday 10th June 2011.

The evening will be chaired by the Leader of Cambridge City Council, Sian Reid, and other panellists include local sustainable housing consultants, energy suppliers and authors. Low energy solution stands will be available to browse and some of the homeowners participating in the Open Eco Homes weekends will be on hand to chat about their projects.
The AC Architects team at Ecobuild
AC Architects Cambridge Ltd attended Ecobuild 2011 to keep abreast of the latest ideas and consult a wide range of technical advisors.

Ecobuild is the world’s biggest event for sustainable design, construction & the built environment. It is also the UK’s largest construction event of any kind, open to both industry specialists and the general public.

Of particular interest to the AC Architects team were the guided Timber Tours organised by TRADA (the Timber Research and Development Association), the SIPS (Structural Insulated Panels) Building and the latest improvements in window technology.
AC Architects office
AC Architects Cambridge Ltd is pleased to be hosting the April meeting of the Cambridge Association of Architects.

The meeting takes place at 18.30 on Wednesday 6th April 2011, at their practice offices at 33-35 Victoria Road, Cambridge.
8 new PVs
AC Architects Cambridge Ltd. are keen to keep up to date with the latest technologies and get first hand experience where ever possible. Company director Anne Cooper has had a bank of 8 PVs installed as part of the feed-in tariff initiative in the latest in a long line of low-energy technologies which the director has applied to her own home.

The first eight days of the new PVs saw an extraordinary amount of rain- but there were still 22kWh of energy produced. She will be monitoring the energy production as part of AC Architects’ commitment to giving clients first hand advice.
Designs in progress
AC Architects have taken part in a Design Charette sponsored by Cambridge City Council and organised by Cambridge Association of Architects.

The event was staged at the Guildhall, and mixed Architects with developers, to answer a brief set by Hills Road and CRC sixth formers.

The site was in the Trumpington development area, and demanded “Code 6” homes in the Code for Sustainable Homes rating system. Our team enthusiastically combined flexible living, allotments and microgeneration, creating personal, defensible space for individual households, whilst deliverying high densities- and a comprehensive sustainable solution from roof to ground.

AC Architects Cambridge Ltd. are already working to a standard of sustainability which makes Code 6 a reachable target, and we are looking forward to ever more low-energy challenges from our clients.
The Cloisters, Thetford Grammar School
AC Architects are pleased to announce that Marek Sekowski has recently qualified and registered as an Architect.

Since joining AC Architects, Marek has built up a wide range of experience, being involved in several key projects which the firm has worked on, including the award winning cloisters at Thetford Grammar School. In particular Marek has rapidly built up and developed expertise in sustainable building detail and technical knowledge.
AC Architects at CAT
AC Architects have recently visited the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales. It was a long anticipated visit, given the company’s commitment to low-energy solutions and sustainable architecture.

The visit showed in practice some new low-energy and old, revived building techniques, many of which AC Architects are familiar with, and some of which the company director, Anne Cooper, is planning to show-case in a new, sustainable one-off building.
Highly Commended
AC Architects Cambridge Ltd is delighted to have been awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ certificate in the small organisations category at the recent Cambridge Climate Change Charter 2010 Awards.

Anne Cooper, the director of the practice, accepted the award at a ceremony in the Grafton Centre, Cambridge on the 16th June, in front of an audience which included the Leader of the City Council, Sian Reid and Ian Nimmo-Smith, the Deputy Mayor.
Open eco-houses
The Open Eco-House event was successfully launched at the Eco-Renovation Question Time, which attracted a large crowd of Cambridge residents keen on reducing their carbon footprint.

The Eco-House event will showcase some of Cambridge residents’ eco-renovations. The event includes three eco-renovations which AC Architects have designed, lending their long-standing eco-expertise to the schemes.
As part of the 2010 Cambridge Environment Festival, company director Anne Cooper will be lending her expertise as part of a panel answering questions on the eco-friendly possibilities for converting your home. Cambridge Carbon Footprint have organised the panel, which includes field specialists from the various areas of sustainable intervention.

The panel will be made up of Anne Cooper (Sustainable Architect), Andy Brown (Sustainable Construction consultant), Tim Acheson (Green builder) and Justin Smith (Council officer and grants specialist). Sian Reid, the Executive Councillor for Climate Change & Growth will be chairing the event. AC Architects Cambridge Ltd. are sure the event will be thought provoking and memorable.

This event also launches the Open Eco-House days, where some of Cambridge’s residents are holding open house days to demonstrate their eco-friendly renovations and designs. AC Architects are pleased to report that some of the houses whose green credentials we have helped realise form part of the Open House line up.
33 - 35 Victoria Road, Cambridge
AC Architects are pleased to be welcoming members of Cambridge Carbon Footprint to their offices this week to explain some of what makes the development sustainable.

The building’s renovation was one of the major winners in the International Green Apple Awards 2007, and has also been commended by RIBA East for its environmentally-friendly design.

The company director, Anne Cooper will be giving a talk explaining the design strategy and the low energy solutions employed. Visitors will be touring the building to see it in operation.
What Will Low Carbon Cambridge Look Like in 2050?

Transition Cambridge Launches Eco Story Writing Competition

More than £750 worth of prizes to be won, sponsored by AC Architects Cambridge Ltd

Transition Cambridge, part of Transition Towns which promotes community action to increase our resilience to peak oil and climate change, has just launched an innovative, eco story writing competition for the local community. They are calling on children and adults alike to send in their stories set in Cambridge in 2050, happily adapted to a new, low carbon society and environment. The competition aims to get local people to think beyond the current oil and climate crises in a positive way.

This competition is open to everyone who lives, works or studies in Cambridge, or within 20 miles of Cambridge. Stories will be judged in three age groups: under 14 (maximum word count 1500); 14 to 17 (maximum word count 2500) and 18 and over (maximum word count 2500). They must be sent in on or before 30 April 2010. Visit for competition entry details, entry form and ideas!

Anne Cooper at CAR
Company Director Anne Cooper and Architect Margaret Reynolds have recently given a lecture at ARU. The talk focused on the future of sustainable housing and how the Code for Sustainable Homes and similar initiatives might shape home design. Reflecting one of AC Architects’ principle concerns (sustainability), the talk was illustrated with practical, sustainable approaches already designed by AC Architects. This talk was well received, and both Anne and Margaret have repeated the lecture at Cambridge Architectural Research.
Save Energy, Save Money
AC Architects are pleased to be supporting an initiative to reduce energy use. The current shop window display reflects this, suggesting easy ways that everyone can reduce their energy use, bills and Carbon footprint.
Live Cambridge
AC Architects’ charette proposal for Mitcham’s Corner, Cambridge, is featured in the Cambridge Association of Architects forthcoming exhibition, “Cambridge Live”, being held at the Guildhall, Cambridge from the 25th of June 2009. Details of their ideas can also be found in the Cambridge Architecture Gazette published to coincide with the exhibition.
AC Architects Cambridge at City Council Design Charette

AC Architects Cambridge Ltd have taken part in a Design Charette sponsored by Cambridge City Council and organised by Cambridge Association of Architects.

The event took place at the Guildhall where groups of architects were asked to focus on selected areas of the city felt to be in need of forward planning.

AC Architects Cambridge Ltd chose to look at the area around Mitchams Corner. Their offices are located there – an unusual case of Cimby-ism (Change In My Back Yard).

The proposals looked at simplifying the road layout; at regenerating sites and providing a better link through to the riverside. Pictures of the work displayed are shown here.

Internal Brickwork

AC Architects Cambridge Limited have designed a low-carbon house which is now under construction in Cambridge.

Construction photos show the progress on site.

Green Apple Award 2008

AC Architects Cambridge Ltd are major prize-winners in the International Green Apple Awards 2008 for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage. The prestigious Green Plaque was awarded on Monday, 10th November, at a ceremony at The House of Commons, hosted by Patricia Hewitt MP, for the conversion and extension of a group of listed buildings, The Cloisters, at Thetford Grammar School in Norfolk. The Cloisters provide a new state of the art Sixth Form Centre and Drama Studies Centre.

The Green Plaque is awarded annually to select winners of the Green Apple Awards for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage. In June this year, AC Architects Cambridge Ltd also received the regional Silver Green Apple Award for The Cloisters. The award ceremony took place at the Tower of London. The prestigious ‘Green Apple’ was presented by top botanist and TV personality Professor David Bellamy, OBE. The trophies are awarded annually in recognition of building projects that enhance the built environment and/or protect our architectural heritage.


For the third time, Margaret Reynolds of AC Architects Cambridge Ltd is running the RIBA Architecture stall at the Perse School, Hills Road, Cambridge on Monday 17 November 2008, 7-9pm.

This stall, complete with its RIBA banner, information packs and laptop, has proved very popular at past Careers Fairs. Students can collect information on careers in architecture and discuss places to study, as well as checking out websites which are now increasingly useful for career decisions.

They can also see examples of low energy design and historic renovation carried out by AC Architects Cambridge Ltd. AC Architects Cambridge Ltd support the Connexions Work Experience Programme and provide an annual placement for students considering a career in architecture.

The Cloisters, Thetford Grammar School

AC Architects Cambridge have announced that The Cloisters, the new Sixth Form Centre and Drama Studies Centre at Thetford Grammar School, Norfolk, has been shortlisted for a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) East Spirit of Ingenuity Award 2008 in two of eight award categories – ‘Heritage Award’ and ‘Education & Healthcare Award’. This follows last month’s news that the Cambridge-based practice became one of the major prize-winners in the International Green Apple Awards 2008 for The Cloisters, under the category Built Environment and Architectural Heritage (1).

The Cloisters, Thetford Grammar School

AC Architects is one of the major prize-winners in the International Green Apple Awards 2008 for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage. The Cambridge based practice has been given the regional Silver Award for the use of traditional skills in the conversion and extension of a group of listed buildings (The Cloisters) at Thetford Grammar School in Norfolk. The Cloisters provide a new state of the art Sixth Form Centre and Drama Studies Centre. This accolade follows last year’s Green Apple Award for the environmentally friendly design of the practice’s own recycled Victorian office building in Victoria Road, Cambridge. The award ceremony took place at the Tower of London last week (Monday, 2nd June). The prestigious ‘Green Apple’ was presented by top botanist and TV personality Professor David Bellamy, OBE.

David Bellamy, OBE presents the Green Apple Award

AC Architects Cambridge Ltd has been announced as one of the major winners in the International Green Apple Awards 2007 for Environmental Best Practice, for the environmentally friendly design of their own recycled office building in Victoria Road, Cambridge. The ceremony, which took place at the House of Commons in London last Friday the 9th November, recognised some sixty projects from across the UK and further international projects which were presented with prestigious ‘Green Plaques’ by author, broadcaster and environmental campaigner David Bellamy, OBE.

The Cloisters, Thetford Grammar School

AC Architects Cambridge Ltd celebrated their 10th Anniversary on Thursday 1st November and marked the occasion with an Anniversary Reception at Thetford Grammar School’s recently completed Sixth Form Centre and Drama Studio (‘The Cloisters’), designed by the practice.

33 - 35 Victoria Road, Cambridge

Award-winning AC Architects Cambridge Ltd have received a Commendation from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) East for the environmentally-friendly design of their re-cycled Victorian offices in Victoria Road, Cambridge. The project has been recognised as part of RIBA East’s Spirit of Ingenuity Awards 2007 in the award category ‘Sustainability’. These awards recognise architectural design excellence in the East of England.

The Cloisters, Thetford Grammar School

Award-winning AC Architects Cambridge Ltd have announced the completion of an ambitious conversion and extension of a group of listed buildings at Thetford Grammar School in Norfolk which provides a new state of the art Sixth Form Centre and Drama Studies Centre. The new Centre was officially opened on Friday, 14th September at 12.30 pm by Whitbread winner DJ Taylor.