Knight’s Park Cambridge

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“In authentic experience, ‘home’, whether a house, a village, or a region… is a central point of existence and individual identity from which you look out on the rest of the world.” – Edward Relph

 

In 2014 Alison Brooks Architects with developer Hill and and Pollard Thomas Edwards (PTE) authored this major new component of the North West Cambridge masterplan, now known as Eddington, providing 184 homes across a variety of home types within a fine-grained network of green street and urban blocks. This award-winning development has achieved Zero-carbon both in terms of its operational C02 and sitewide sustainable infrastructure. Using courtyard typologies and roof terraces, the scheme delivers homes able to exceed national space standards by more than 30 per cent.

ABA’s three ‘Veteran Oak Apartments’ create a strong but permeable formal edge to the adjacent gardens, positioned to frame an inviting new pedestrian route to the Green Street beyond. Their fan-like plan geometry embraces the adjacent oak tree, while maximising frontage for dual-aspect units. These frontages are articulated with double-height entrances, crisp metal lining to full-height windows and openings for recessed balconies. Projecting cornices offering distinctive silhouettes that help frame views from Green Street; containing the urban space between buildings more as an outdoor room.  The coherent grouping of subtly faceted geometries is further strengthened by a remarkable two-storey ‘inhabited bridge’. In the spirit of St. John’s College Bridge of Sighs, this surprising element reinforces the primary street frontage, marks a covered entrance to the middle apartment building and creates a hanging garden or roof terrace for upper storey apartments

At the heart of the masterplan our pedestrian Green Street creates a continuous ecology-friendly landscape corridor leading from the palazzo apartments to the scheme’s northern edge. This Green Street contains lush reedbeds for rainwater storage, with bridges and seating areas offering opportunities for informal play and community interaction within a quiet, safe and green environment. ABA’s houses are formed with robust buff brick detailing, generous window proportions and are crowned with bright sculpted metallic roofs sporting a variety of dormer geometries. Large top floor dormer windows echo the studio windows of Arts and Crafts houses, now with French doors and panoramic balconies. Our house typologies are enriched by a consistent architectural language of metal-clad porticos, buff coloured brickwork and crisply detailed metal roofs. Ground floor studies allowing for home working and small independent business to present active frontages to the street. Metal clad elements also form garden projections and gable-end pop-outs to add formal and material variety to the streetscape.

Our house types provide the following essential elements not normally provided by volume house builders:

  • generous front halls – the all-important social threshold and meeting place
  • a range of usable outdoor amenity spaces: porches, gardens, patios, roof terraces and balconies
  • generous ceiling heights
  • dedicated home working and hobby spaces
  • good sized and well-proportioned rooms to accommodate a range of uses and flexibility
  • familiar building materials used in a contemporary manner to create sculptural forms
  • buildable and adaptable typologies tailored to contemporary lifestyles.
Client
University of Cambridge , Hill
Dwellings
240
Site Area
3.7 ha
Density
65 d/ha
Status
In Construction
Year
–ongoing
Awards 3
  • Project Award, Housing Design Awards
  • Building With Nature – Housing Design Awards
  • Evening Standard New Homes Awards — Development of Outstanding Architectural Merit Award
Publications5
News5