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Progetto Vincitore Stirling Prize 2008 Cambridge / United Kingdom / 2006

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The buildings are arranged in three dense groups, separated by mature landscape, with houses ranging in size from three to five bedrooms (90 to 350 square metres) and apartments of one, two and three bedrooms (45 to 145 square metres), and includes 30% affordable dwellings in mixed tenure, integrated in design and materials with the private housing. There is a wide variety in the housing types, including a dramatic re-interpretation of the British semi-detached house.

As part of a strong existing landscape framework, the principle concept is about “living in a large garden”, informed by local context references taken from College garden courts and the public ‘greens’ of Cambridge. In place of traditional gardens, private open spaces in the form of courtyards, roof terraces and large balconies are designed as an integral part of the architecture. In combination with the generous communal gardens this aims to reflect the changing aspirations of our modern lifestyles and continues a strong tradition of domestic architecture in Cambridge. This is a high density housing scheme comprising 212 houses and 166 apartments with 47 homes to the hectare (65 not counting the generous amenity spaces).

This is a high density housing scheme with 47 homes to the hectare (65 not counting the generous amenity spaces), against a UK average of 25 per hectare.

The masterplan was designed for pedestrian and cycle demands, with landscaped pedestrian “streets”, mews streets with shared surfaces, discreet car parking and integrated cycle parking for all dwellings. Each dwelling is accessed from an urban street side and opens out onto a shared landscape which includes amenities for passive and active recreation.

The site was formerly occupied by low rise government offices built in the 1940s. The mature landscape planted with over 700 mature trees was incorporated into the new landscape design. It is adjacent to a busy residential neighbourhood whose occupants showed keen interest in the development proposals. Wide consultation was undertaken with local design groups, residents’ associations, English Heritage, CABE and others. The designs had to contend with restrictive historic covenants, the setting of the Grade II listed Brooklands House and the historically and environmentally sensitive Hobson’s Brook which runs along the edge of the site.

The external materials are predominately Cambridge stock brick for the housing, with apartments made from Copper and Green Oak. Much of the construction was fabricated off site to increase speed of construction, reduce waste, and to improve site safety and environmental performance.


The scheme design reflects the application of sustainable principles holistically rather than focusing on any particular issue such as solar orientation or renewable technologies. Streets are designed as shared spaces to limit vehicle access.

The scheme was constructed under a JCT98 design and build contract. The architects were appointed in February 2002. Detailed planning was granted in June 2002. The development commenced on site in September 2003, with the first homes being ready in 2004, with final completion of the first phase (approximately 50%) in April 2006.

The estimated construction cost was £80 million, with the first phase costing £38 million at approximately £1,500 per square metre.

The first phase, including 73 private houses and the 114 affordable houses (50% of the total masterplan) is now complete and fully occupied.

Project team:
Masterplanning and lead architects: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Architects: Maccreanor Lavington
Architects: Alison Brooks Architects
Landscape architects: Grant Associates
Structural engineers: Richard Jackson plc
M&E Engineer: Roberts & Partners
QS: Philip Pank Partnership
Planning Supervisor: Flood Partnership
Contractors: Kajima Construction Europe (UK) Ltd
Client: Countryside Properties



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    The buildings are arranged in three dense groups, separated by mature landscape, with houses ranging in size from three to five bedrooms (90 to 350 square metres) and apartments of one, two and three bedrooms (45 to 145 square metres), and includes 30% affordable dwellings in mixed tenure, integrated in design and materials with the private housing. There is a wide variety in the housing types, including a dramatic re-interpretation of the British semi-detached house. As part of a strong...

    Project details
    • Year 2006
    • Client Countryside Properties
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Neighbourhoods/settlements/residential parcelling / Modular/Prefabricated housing
    • Websitehttp://www.fcbstudios.com
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