View of historic Dokett Building from the sky
Dormer windows in red tiled roof

Dokett Building

The Dokett Building became the subject of a major restoration in 2014 with a re-roofing using Wienerberger's Keymer Traditional Elizabethan and Antique roof tiles

Originally constructed in 1911, the Dokett Building has served the world-renowned university for over 100 years, becoming a beacon of local history. However, in 2014, with weathering beginning to take its toll on the age-old structure, the iconic building became the subject of a major restoration.


The Challenge

The Dokett Building is a site steeped in academic history, named after the first President of Queens’ College, Andrew Dokett.  This magnificent building is a prominent element of the college’s architecture, it can even be seen from the opposite side of the campus. The Dokett Building provides accommodation for the college’s students, featuring 34 study bedrooms, 12 kitchens and a Fellows’ room.

The roofing contractors were tasked with stripping and re-covering the entire 100-year-old roof. One of the main reasons the roof needed replacing was that it hadn’t been updated in decades. The accommodation needed to be drastically modernised, so new dormers were created to allow for ventilation and new bathrooms.

With the historical importance of the site at the heart of the University of Cambridge, the unique heritage aesthetic of Keymer roof tiles made the brand a natural choice for the roof replacement, and we were delighted to be chosen by the building’s conservation officers.

The Solution

Due to the prominent location of the building on campus, and it being of historical local interest, Keymer’s handmade Traditional Antique and Elizabethan tiles were selected to ensure a sympathetic renovation that was in keeping with the existing building design principles of Queens’ College. As well as providing Traditional Keymer tiles, the Keymer team manufactured 450 bespoke hips tile for all the new and existing dormer roofs.

The specified roofing solution needed to provide an aesthetic akin to an adjacent building, which had been renovated as part of an earlier restoration in 2005. Through utilising an even mix of Traditional Antique and Elizabethan handmade clay roof tiles, the new roof achieved an incredibly close match to the surrounding buildings. Not only this, but with the superior heat retention capabilities of natural alluvial clay, the thermal efficiency of the building was also improved.

Due to the fantastic finished result on the Dokett Building project, Keymer tiles were selected for The Old Courtyard restoration at Queens’ College three years later.

The Project

Dokett Building, Queen's College, Cambridge

The Product

Keymer Traditional Elizabethan and Antique Roof Tiles

Keymer is one of the oldest established roofing brands in the UK, crafting handmade tiles and fittings since 1588. Keymer Traditional Elizabethan and Antique tiles offer unmatched quality and a truly heritage aesthetic.

Find out more

Historic college building and grass quadrangle

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