TateHindle Architects

Project

North West Cambridge

The overall vision for the North West Cambridge development will create a new district and extension to the City, centred around mixed-tenure residential neighbourhoods. This will in turn create a place that will be sustainable, long-lasting and ambitious and will offer a high quality of life to enhance both the City and the University.

The development of M3 and S3 will set a new standard for sustainable urban lifestyles in the world-class setting of North West Cambridge and will be designed to adapt to the needs of its residents.

The buildings will contribute to the creation of an inclusive and vibrant community, embracing its position at the heart of the NWC masterplan with emphasis on sustainability and healthy living, whilst being grounded in the best traditions of Cambridge.

Connecting communities

The adjacent plots, existing landscape and neighbourhoods are key drivers in developing a community with its own identity which respects and knits into its surroundings. With this in mind, TateHindle would create a variety of living accommodation with ample amenity provision, both private and shared, with an integrated landscape strategy from the outset. Buildings would be designed to reinforce the urban grain of the development and create premium quality urban living on Cambridge’s fringe.

The development of North West Cambridge offers a vision of a sustainable mixed use urban community that seeks to create and improve links between existing and developing areas to the north and south. The development would form an urban extension that would integrate existing and new residential areas with the surrounding countryside and produce strong connective links with the City and the University accommodation.

Sustainable urban lifestyle

Lot M3 is located at the heart of the development and benefits from a series of distinct qualities which respond directly to the surrounding local character, building types and landscape.

The design for Lot M3 would provide high quality parkside apartments with a ground floor mixed use component that would contribute to the life of the local centre. The apartments would benefit from beautiful views onto the cricket pitch and through the courtyards, from one to the next, and then out to the Community Square on the north-eastern boundary of the site.

The proposed site of Lot M3 forms a key part of the wider North West Cambridge Development which will allow the University to establish a new University-led urban quarter to meet its future needs. It plays a central role within the local centre of North West Cambridge as it provides a critical mass of local residents and brings urban life to the Market Square and Ridgeway Place, creating a mix of residents and a balanced community within the wider development.

The three-sided court

Lot S3 is located to the south of the local centre and will be a vital part of the North West Cambridge Development. It forms a key frontage to the Girton Gap landscape to the east, the Ridge and Furrow Field as well as a south facing frontage overlooking the Green Corridor located to the south of the Lot.

TateHindle carried out careful research to identify a structure of quality for Lot S3. Research led to a Dr Cauis who was the President of the College of Physician and physician to both Edward VI and Queen Mary. Dr Caius was elected Master of his old college Gonville Hall in 1559. The Hall originally had only a single court, entered off Trinity Lane to its north, and the new Master created Caius Court on garden land to the south. Later, buildings were added, up to Trinity Court in 1870.

Caius was concerned above all for the health of his students and fellows. His new court was therefore U-shaped, open towards the south to let in sunlight and air – ‘lest the air, from being confined within a narrow space, should become foul’.

Due to the extensive similarities identified on the site, this approach was a fundamental driver in the development of our strategy for Lot S3. Therefore, in reference to the history and landscape of the area, the buildings proposed in Lot S3 were organised into a series of three-sided courts facing south, overlooking the Green Corridor. The proposed U-shaped structures featuring courtyards were also inspired by historic local buildings such as Jesus College in Cambridge, which comprise a pattern of successive three-sided courts looking out to the distant landscape.

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