Caudale forms a landmark with its bold, abstract composition
RIBA National Award winner 2021
RIBA London Regional Award winner 2021
Mae Architects for London Borough of Camden
Contract value: undisclosed
Part of a wider HS2 remediation masterplan, the Caudale housing scheme was developed for London Borough of Camden to provide affordable dwellings for residents displaced by the new infrastructure works nearby. It creates dual and triple-aspect homes, intuitive layouts and massing that gives excellent levels of sunlight and cross-ventilation. Working to very tight timescales, the architect engaged successfully with the very active resident groups in an intensive public consultation process, responding to concerns such as multi-generational living, internal passive supervision within apartments and creating more connections to the outdoors. During the judges’ visit, a resident praised the architect for listening to their concerns and welcomed the development for improving an area that had previously been subject to frequent fly-tipping.
The giant chequerboard design of the facades breaks up the composition visually and pays homage to the neighbouring 1960s Frederick Gibberd housing block. The general massing responds well to its proximity to other buildings and protects existing views, with the twin blocks topped off with intensive green roofs.
The project was designed to be Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 and to meet Lifetime Homes standards, allowing for a range of occupancies. It features a new communal garden that is open to the public, part of a wider local authority initiative to create more green spaces nestled in between the dense housing developments in the wider area.
Overall, the project has been designed and delivered to a very high standard. By creating a new public connection at street level, it sets a desirable precedent for new housing developments locally as well as an aspiration for housing in general.