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FIRST LOOK

Proctor & Matthews completes second phase of Cambridgeshire housing development

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Abode at Great Kneighton combines clusters of different dwelling types to increase the scheme’s density

Five years after phase 1 was completed, phase 2 of Abode, a residential development in the new village of Great Kneighton, Cambridgeshire is now finished. Forming part of the Cambridge southern fringe expansion and including an additional 136 dwellings, the new part of the development completes the neighbourhood. 

The development for Countryside Properties now contains 442 dwellings in total – 40 per cent of which are designated affordable and tenure-blind – and incorporates a variety of housing types.

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The masterplan and use of expressive brickwork references Cambridge’s collegiate and urban structure. Taking the contemporary courtyard and mews house types further, phase 2 combines clusters of four-bedroom courtyard homes, smaller two-bedroom courtyard mews houses and terraced villas in back-to-back formations to increase the scheme’s density as well as creating a mixed residential population.

Outdoor amenity space is provided through roof terraces at differing levels. At the country park edge of the site, three large courtyard typologies form two mews streets and a defined edge to the whole scheme. To encourage walking and cycling, key communal facilities have been provided close together including a primary school, shops and healthcare facilities. Streets, communal squares and residential buildings all have level access to ensure that the development is fully accessible and inclusive.

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Architect’s view

Phase 2 of Abode at Great Kneighton develops further the contemporary courtyard and mews house typologies that proved so successful on Phase 1. Back-to-back urban blocks are formed with large, four-bedroom courtyard homes and smaller two-bedroom courtyard mews houses.

Each dwelling in this configuration has ground-level courtyards, maximising accessibility from a range of internal living spaces – kitchens, dining areas, and living rooms – to ensure an extended seasonal use of their external amenity at the heart of the home.

The larger houses within this cluster also benefit from roof terraces at first and second-floor levels. Careful attention has been given to the sectional arrangement in order to maximise privacy within external spaces at all levels. Large terraced villas are configured with dual frontages. Similarly, these homes do not have conventional gardens and are designed with roof terraces at each of the three levels.

Towards the country park edge, three large typologies form two mews streets. This configuration of large dwellings with small ground-level external courts and rooftop terraces delivers over double the square meterage per hectare normally found in similar edge-of-town, suburban locations.

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Ground floor plan

Client’s view

With a RIBA national award and two RIBA East awards to its name, The Abode is testament to the success of a bold, innovative and creative approach to architecture. Great Kneighton has fast become a highly desirable neighbourhood, with its striking architecture playing a key role not just in creating a beautiful place to live, but also in fostering a strong sense of community.

David Everett, managing director, Housebuilding (Central), Countryside

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House type plans

Project data

Completion Phase 2: July 2019, Phase 1: June 2014
Gross internal floor area Four-bedroom courtyard home: 290.9m², Two-bedroom courtyard mews: 95.8m², Terraced villa: 172.5m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area Four-bedroom courtyard home: 451.4m², Two-bedroom courtyard mews: 165.0m², Terraced villa: 244.3m²
Architect Proctor & Matthews Architects
Client Countryside Properties
Structural engineer URS
M&E consultant Kaizenge
Planning consultant SW Planning
Sustainability consultant Environ
Landscape consultant Townshends Landscape Architects
Main contractor Countryside Properties
CAD software used MicroStation

03 section 1

Section AA

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