Saturday, April 12, 2008

Half Dose #46: Accordia, Cambridge

Since featuring Feilden Clegg Bradley's (FCB) award-winning Westfield Student Village four years ago, the studio has completed many more projects and won many more awards. One project that's garnering much awards and attention is Accordia, Cambridge (England), "a scheme of 212 houses and 166 apartments on a 9.5 hectare (23 acre) site adjacent to the Botanic Garden on the southern edge of the city."

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[view from the village green | image source]

FCB were masterplanners and architects for 2/3 of the dwellings. The remaining units were designed by MacCreanor Lavington Architects and Alison Brooks Architects. The site is near the city center and the train station, and the site planning reflects an emphasis on pedestrian movement and the design of well-scaled in-between spaces, something FCB are highly skilled at. Of course what's lacking most is a mixed-use component to the large development, though the dwellings do allot for 30% affordable units.

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[masterplan with FCB's buildings in orange | image source (PDF)]

The buildings by FCB are also skilled, particularly in their massing and materiality. In this type of development the relationship of building to open space is very important, and the terracing and punctuation of the below example illustrates one take on this relationship. Not only do the two gestures make for an appealing appearance from the lawn, the terrace allows for private outdoor space adjacent to the "public" open space and the chimneys anchor each unit within the larger mix.

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[another view from the village green | image source]

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[two of FCB's designs | image source]

Another of FCB's designs is a bit more unconventional. An open timber frame layers the facades and provides support for projecting balconies. The weathered wood softens the Modernist vocabulary of the design as well as its larger massing. The tectonics of the frame and the balconies is equally subtle, yet very strong in its apparent simplicity. From the large scale to the small, one can see why the project has garnered so many awards.

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[close-up of timber frame facade | image source]

Links:
:: Countryside Properties (project page)
:: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
:: MacCreanor Lavington Architects
:: Alison Brooks Architects
:: via eye candy

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas! This design's connecting old materials with new approach, I love those wooden balconies.

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