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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

AJ100 Awards 2023

22 June 2023 - Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)’s green office retrofit, the Entopia Building, has won ‘Collaboration of the Year’ at the Architects’ Journal (AJ) 100 Awards 2023.

The AJ100 Awards celebrate the achievements of the UK’s largest architecture practices, including those leading the way on sustainability.

The Entopia Building is an energy efficient, sustainable retrofit. What used to be a 1930s telephone exchange is now a world-leading example of ‘deep green’ retrofit, aiming for BREEAM certification (Outstanding), the Passivhaus 'EnerPHit' standard and WELL (Gold) certification.

The collaboration award brings together numerous firms that worked together on Entopia. Architype led the architecture, alongside Peter Kelly at contractor ISG and interior designer Eve Waldron.

Last year’s winner in the category was the Sinking House climate change installation in the River Avon, by Stride Treglown and Format Engineers, with artist Anna Gillespie, Fifield Moss Carpentry and local organisations in Bath.

Anna Nitch-Smith, Chief Operating Officer, CISL said:

"We are over the moon to hear that the Entopia building has won ‘Collaboration of the Year’ at the AJ100 Awards. Entopia is not just a building, it's CISL's sustainability retrofitted HQ, business hub, and a happy, healthy home for all our staff. The success of the project is down to many partners in the value chain, who committed to a shared vision and cooperative ethos. The process was – and still is - truly collaborative."

The Entopia project was focused around circularity, cutting energy and carbon impact to help tackle climate change, alongside social and wellbeing factors for people in the building – and in the supply chain.

As well as housing 160 staff at CISL’s offices, it is also home to green business hub, The Canopy. The Canopy opened in October 2022 and provides both a physical workspace for startups and SMEs and a virtual ecosystem where members can network and collaborate.

Wendy Bishop, Associate and Passivhaus designer at Architype, said:

“Entopia is an exemplar deep green retrofit that required deep collaboration across the whole design and construction team to achieve a circular office. The results could only have been achieved by everyone going the extra mile to creatively re-use existing materials and show what can be achieved with a clear focus on beautiful design that works for people and planet.”

Peter Kelly, Director of Sustainable Operations at ISG, said:

“This is fantastic recognition for a project which put collaboration at the heart of its ethos. The nature of how this process became part of the delivery culture has set the standard for how we approach projects of this nature at ISG. It’s clear we will only meet the challenges of the climate crises through increased circularity and it was a pleasure to achieve so much in this space alongside our project partners.”

Those shortlisted for the ‘Collaboration of the Year’ category 2023 were:

  1. Architype with Peter Kelly at ISG and Eve Waldron for the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s Entopia building, Cambridge
  2. Atkins with Crawford Wright of the DfE on Energy Pods for schools
  3. The Part Z Team (Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, with IStructE, University of Strathclyde, CIBSE, Targeting ZERO, and Arup) for Part Z
  4. Hawkins\Brown with Jacob Wilson of Be First on the Public Housing Pattern Book
  5. Zaha Hadid Architects with Carly Walsh of Education Above All on modular play and education spaces for displaced children

Entopia project partners include 3pm, Architype, BDP, Envision, Eve Waldron Design, Feilden and Mawson, Gardiner & Theobald, ISG and Max Fordham. 

The AJ100 Gala Dinner took place on the evening of 21 June 2023, where the winners of the awards were revealed. The event took place at the Honourable Artillery Company, EC1Y 2BQ, London.

Read more about the Entopia building here. 


Zoe Kalus, Head of Media  

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