Private Award Highly Commended 2007
Building Owner: Chris Cook, Countryside Properties
Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects
Builder/Main Contractor: Kajima Construction
Structural Engineers: Richard Jackson
Joinery: Oakwrights, KL Design, Idea-Combi, Futura Composite
Wood Species: Green Oak
This is a strategically important new residential quarter, sited on Cambridge’s last major undeveloped brownfield site in a key position between the city and open fields. The scheme successfully demonstrates that it is possible for a volume house-builder to support high quality architecture and displays an innovative approach to integrating external space within the house designs through gardens on many levels. The aim has been to produce an exemplary urban environment; a desirable place to live that balances usable private space within an overall structure of height quality public space, with good environmental performance.
The development comprises 212 houses and 166 apartments on a 9.5 hectare site at a density of 47 dwellings per hectare overall including landscape spaces. This resulted in an unusual and successful collaboration when the architects subsequently appointed two other practices to design 25% and 10% of the housing in order to bring variety to the scheme. The scheme includes a variety of innovative house and apartment types in the form of terraces courtyard houses and ‘set-piece’ apartment buildings, composed within public landscaped gardens which extend to approximately 3 hectares – one third of the site. The site and context influenced the choice of materials.
Green oak was selected for substantial elements of the development for its ability to sit well within the landscape and age gracefully with minimal maintenance.
All five of the Feilden Clegg Bradley apartment buildings incorporated structural green oak frames supporting prefabricated timber clad balconies with steel and glass balustrades. Hardwood decking is fitted on the balconies which overlook the lawn and Hobson’s Brook. The windows are a composite timber and aluminium system with some incorporating timber clad ventilators.