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Key Worker Housing, Eddington, Cambridge

A 10-building scheme is at the heart of the new community of Eddington

Key Worker Housing.
Key Worker Housing. Credit: David Valinsky

RIBA National Award winner 2021
RIBA East Award winner 2021


Stanton Williams for University of Cambridge, North West Cambridge Development
Contract value: undisclosed 
GIA: 22,316m2

Although keyworker housing, this scheme, with its loose interconnected courtyards, manages to feel as though it is part Cambridge college and part a new piece of the city. As such, the distinction between public and private resident communal space is unclear. This ambiguity is deliberately employed to foster a communal sense within the development. With almost no private balconies, most of the external space is shared, so residents are always likely to bump into each other. 

A well-considered and calm palette of materials has been used. The ground floor plinth is of mottled buff Cambridge brick, extending vertically at level changes or to celebrate corner conditions. The upper, light brick forms a gridded panel system, with rebates sometimes interlacing with the plinth brick. Reconstituted stone is used for copings and cill ledges, running horizontally around each floor level.  Cycle stores are picked out in vertical black timber, supplemented with oak reveals and entrance doors.  

The enclosed cycle courts, also wrapped in timber, and their planters, are a delightful treatment of what is often considered to be a banal storage requirement. Cycling is celebrated here and the stores help to articulate the courtyard’s edges and the arrival sequences.

  • Key Worker Housing.
    Key Worker Housing. Credit: David Valinsky
  • Key Worker Housing.
    Key Worker Housing. Credit: David Valinsky
  • Key Worker Housing.
    Key Worker Housing. Credit: David Valinsky
  • Key Worker Housing.
    Key Worker Housing. Credit: David Valinsky
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The landscaping incorporates water features and manages water run-off and storage as an integral part of the design. Utilisation of CHP, rainwater harvesting and SUDS strategy was considered at concept stage and has been successfully delivered. The buildings were designed to meet Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 and its non-residential spaces are BREEAM Excellent. 

The sequence of buildings and spaces between at Eddington is a delightful example of how a rigorous approach to form, materials and details can create a harmonious environment and make a great place.


See the rest of the East shortlist here

And all the RIBA Regional Awards shortlists here

See other RIBA National Awards 2021 winners, Housing, here

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