North West Cambridge

Mole Architects as Architects

Mole Architects and Wilkinson Eyre’s designs within the first phase of a £1 billion North West Cambridge Development have received planning permission. The North West Cambridge Development, a 150-hectare site of University farmland, is the largest single capital project that the University of Cambridge has undertaken in its 800-year history and received outline planning permission in February 2013. The Mole and Wilkinson Eyre designs include a supermarket and other retail, 117 key worker-housing units, a primary health care centre, police station and an energy centre. Residential buildings sit around a market square with hard landscaping in the surrounding streets by Townshends and a communal courtyard for residents by BBUK Landscape Architects.


Mole Architects has designed a landmark building at the heart of the local centre on the east side of scheme. Designed as an L-shaped building of two four-storey linear blocks, it shields the Energy Centre and service yard. It comprises the police station, doctor's surgery with eight consulting rooms in one wing along Bus Gate Street and key worker apartments in the second wing facing onto the north side of the Courtyard. The two buildings meet in a five-storey tower, which serves as the entry to the upper levels as well as housing an apartment on each level. The tower is designed to punctuate Bus Gate Street and provide an entry point to the residential courtyard. It can be seen from the cycle path crossing the adjacent green leading towards the city centre.


The doctor's surgery and the food store will be built to BREEAM Excellent standard. All apartments are designed to meet Code for Sustainable Homes level 5 and integrate photovoltaic solar power, grey water harvesting and maximise natural daylight and cross ventilation. Works on the development will commence in 2014 with phased completions from 2016.

North West Cambridge Development

Stanton Williams as Architects

The North West Cambridge development is a major extension to the city and the most significant capital project that the University of Cambridge has undertaken in its 800-year history. Forming the heart of this new neighbourhood are Stanton Williams’ designs for 264 key worker homes for University staff, supported by generous public realm, retail and social spaces.

photo_credit Jack Hobhouse
Jack Hobhouse

A network of courts and squares, framed by the 10 new buildings, creates a transition from the life of the city into the heart of a new community. These varied interconnected spaces form a social landscape, recalling the differentiated spaces of the traditional city and the historic collegiate spaces of central Cambridge. They differ in scale and function, moving from the large, urban and public Market Square, through to the semi-public Landscape Court.

photo_credit Jack Hobhouse
Jack Hobhouse

Single storey cycle pavilions break down the scale and massing of the buildings, while pedestrian routes offer informal interconnections between public and semi-public spaces, helping to strengthen the sense of community. At the heart of the project vision is a desire to create lifetime homes and to foster sustainable living.

photo_credit Jack Hobhouse
Jack Hobhouse

The landscape, interspersed with water features and edible plants, encourages both wildlife and opportunities for respite and outdoor activities. Apartments provide generous living spaces and are primarily dual-aspect. The scheme utilises Combined Heat and Power Energy generation, rainwater harvesting and Sustainable Drainage Strategies. Residential units have been designed to meet the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5, while retail units and non-residential spaces were built to BREEAM Excellent.

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