Specifiers Journal 2015-2016
HOUSING Abode at Great Kneighton Cambridgeshire Our scheme Abode at Great Kneighton is a large-scale housing development containing 450 sustainable new homes on the edge of Cambridge. Built on the former Clay Farm site, it is a key part of a major new housing and mixed use community by Countryside Properties. Planning consent was gained in 2011 and the project is currently on site. Great Kneighton is located 3.7km south of Cambridge between the village of Trumpington and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and lies in the Cambridge Southern Fringe growth area. The overall development will eventually provide up to 2,250 new homes, extensive strategic open space, accompanying provision of education facilities, sports and recreation, health and community facilities and local shopping facilities. The design consists of a hierarchy of spaces and housing types to suit different parts of the development. This approach both gives form to existing infrastructure and a formal sense of arrival at the entrance to the site, before moving sequentially towards a more relaxed architectural language that is integrated with the neighbouring countryside at the edge of the development. 40% of the new homes will be affordable housing. At the entrance to the site will be two apartment marker buildings within a formal structured court, in a reference to the urban form of Cambridge colleges. Together with new landscaping, the large formal “Great Court” absorbs the existing infrastructure and provides a suitable 78 SPECIFICATION JOURNAL 2015-2016
HOUSING gateway to the remainder of the scheme. Beyond the Great Court are a series of mews streets supported by three storey courtyard saw-tooth terraced houses. The materials used here - predominantly brick - borrow from the Great Court, while the more modest and domestic scale provides a sense of transition from the arrival zone. Each house has garden space to the front with a raised courtyard terrace at the rear. A series of parallel green connecting corridors run perpendicular to the terraces, creating pleasant shared spaces between the houses. These “landscape ribbons” also provide a linear route through the development, connecting the formal landscape of the Great Court to the open countryside at the edge. A further transition takes place at the rear of the site, where the housing typology becomes loose clusters of smaller two and threestorey units. The “Green Lanes” zone of the development seeks to create a village atmosphere, and will provide a range of two to five bedroom homes for both private and affordable tenures. Houses will sit within private walled gardens and generously-planted shared spaces. Compared with the strong urban language of the Great Court, here the aim is to achieve relaxed “rural erosion” at the boundary of the development. Here the hierarchy of spaces and buildings shrinks further, before vanishing into the natural landscape beyond. A simple and controlled palette of materials will be used across the development. All buildings will share a base palette of “Cambridge” stock brickwork, and will be highlighted with panels of textured brick. Elsewhere materials will be used to illustrate the hierarchy of building types. The formal Great Court, for example, will be animated in places with perforated metal cladding, back-lit at night to create a ‘halo’ around the courtyard and enhance the sense of arrival. Meanwhile, houses in the “Green Lanes” will have horizontal black boarding at first floor levels and red clay traditional tiles, referencing local vernacular buildings and providing a softer edge to the development. Credits Architect: Proctor and Matthews Client & Main Contractor: Countryside Properties SPECIFICATION JOURNAL 2015-2016 79
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