A ’utopian oasis feel’ characterises North West Cambridge by AECOM, which has triumphed in the masterplan category at the AJ Architecture Awards
The judges who visited what has already been completed of the Northwest Cambridge Development (Phase 1 is almost finished) were left feeling incredibly optimistic about the phases to follow.
One judge commented that the scheme’s current occupation by Cambridge University brings a ‘utopian oasis feel to what appears to be a new town modelled on a graduate campus’ but stressed that this has resulted not in a cloistered environment but an urban one, which already has a primary school – ‘award-winning in its own right’ – as its focal point.
Given the development’s setting in green belt land, the jury was pleased to see ample green space left open, along with a sensitive consideration of the existing topography. This thoughtful approach, said one judge, ran through the whole scheme in ‘both broad vision and detailed elements’, with projects appearing unified but still showing some individual expression.
Transport between the new area and the original university campus and city was described as ‘logically located’ in order to reduce the need for cars.
The jury felt that, in the future, density could be easily increased without changing the basic framework, all making it ‘a desirable place in which to live and work’.
Finalist: Grahame Park Estate Regeneration by Mae
Grahame Park Estate Regeneration by Mae
Finalist: Meridian Water Masterplan by Karakusevic Carson Architects
Meridian Water Masterplan by Karakusevic Carson Architects
Finalist: The Laindon Centre by CF Møller Architects with Pollard Thomas Edwards
The Laindon Centre by CF Møller Architects with Pollard Thomas Edwards