The Avenue, Saffron Walden

A clever mix of coherence and community

· Credit: Simon Harvey

Pollard Thomas Edwards for Hill

Contract value: £14m

GIA: 9,110 m²

The Avenue represents the best of new housing developments: a committed client, a skilled architect, and a site with a mature landscape. But it is one thing having elements in your favour and another thing to exploit all the positives.

Setting out to retain as many of the trees as possible, the team has created a striking lime avenue at the heart of the scheme that forms a well used public route through the development.

  • · Credit: Tim Crocker
  • · Credit: Tim Crocker
  • · Credit: Tim Crocker
  • · Credit: Tim Crocker

The housing off the main avenue forms a series of courtyards that strike a clever mix of coherence and community for the owners. This is a great lesson in defensible space without the requirement for any signage: urban design in action.

Attention is drawn naturally to the magnificence of the existing landscape but it would be a great disservice to the architect to pin the success of the scheme on this. The Avenue would be a fantastic place to live even if the lime trees still needed another 50 years to mature. 

See other winners in the RIBA Regional Awards – East