The masterplan for the University of Cambridge’s North West Cambridge Development, created by AECOM, has won the Masterplan of the Year award at the inaugural Architects’ Journal Architecture of the Year Awards. 

AJ Architecture Awards 2017_Masterplan

The North West Cambridge Development is one of the University of Cambridge’s largest capital projects.

Considerations of strategic issues including connectivity to the rest of the City, climate, community investment and the character of Cambridge, are intelligently intertwined into the masterplan to create a masterplan as an urban extension to Cambridge. The development seeks to ensure the University’s reputation as a world leading institution in academia and research by providing necessary affordable housing for University key workers, and space to foster research and development.

The judges stated that a ‘utopian oasis feel’ characterises the masterplan, and applauded specifically the architecture of the primary school and the dedicated green space. The panel were ‘incredibly optimistic’ about future phases.

The heart of the development, called Eddington, opened in Summer 2017, and focusses on establishing the residential community which includes accommodation for University and College key workers, post-graduate students and spaces for the community.

Heather Topel, Project Director of the North West Cambridge Development said: “The University’s ambitions for the project have always been to responsibly deliver housing as part a coherent scheme with community, environmental and sustainability benefits.  Not only will this development contribute significantly to the supply of homes in Cambridge, but it will also create a long-lasting extension to the city and with sustainability features that are unique to the UK. We are thrilled that the masterplan has been recognised by the industry in this way.”

Originality

The University’s unique position in the local community affords a long-term perspective to placemaking at the North West Cambridge Development. By delivering key social infrastructure at the outset including the University-sponsored school (which opened in September 2015), a local centre with shops and a supermarket, community centre, sports pitches and parklands, the University seeks to establish a vibrant district where community spirit flourishes and is integrated into the wider community. As an exemplar of sustainability, the development pushes the boundaries on a development of this scale, and will be built site-wide to BREEAM Excellent and Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5.

The other finalists in the masterplan category included: Grahame Park Estate Regeneration by Mae; Meridian Water Masterplan by Karakusevic Carson Architects; The Laindon Centre by CF Møller Architects with Pollard Thomas Edwards

Read the Architects’ Journal write up on the masterplan here.

The full list of categories and entries are online here.

AECOM are the Masterplan and Planning Consultants for the University’s North West Cambridge Development.