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Accordia Residential Quarter

This strategically important new residential quarter, sited on Cambridge’s last major undeveloped brownfield site between the city and open fields, in 2008 was the first ever housing scheme to win the RIBA Stirling Prize, the number one architectural prize in the UK.

It was also highly commended in the ‘private’ category of the 2007 Wood Awards in Britain. The scheme successfully demonstrates that it is possible for a volume house builder to support high quality architecture. Countryside Properties appointed Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios to master-plan this strategically important brownfield site and to design 212 houses and 166 apartments at an overall density of 47 dwellings per hectare. Feilden Clegg Bradley subsequently appointed MacCreanor Lavington Architects and Alison Brooks Architects to design 25% and 10% of the housing respectively, in order to bring variety to the scheme.
Their aim was to produce an exemplary urban environment; a desirable place to live that balances usable private space within an overall structure of high quality public space. The design 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.
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 designed by Grant Associates, this reflects the changing aspirations of modern lifestyles and continues a strong tradition of domestic architecture in Cambridge. 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.
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. The five Feilden Clegg Bradley apartment buildings incorporate 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.

The RIBA Stirling Prize 2008
Civic Trust Award 2007
Housing Design Awards: Overall Winner 2006
Building for Life Awards: Gold Standard 2006
Britain’s Wood Awards: Winner of ‘Private’ category 2007