Accordia Housing

In spite of having been to Cambridge several times since 2008 when the Accordia new housing development won the Stirling Prize, I have never previously made the effort to visit it, although I now realise that it’s within walking distance of the railway station, just south of Brooklands Avenue. It’s pretty impressive – on a big scale, quite varied, keeping existing trees, very slightly eerily quiet, with hundreds of bicycles which people don’t appear to lock up, which says something about their sense of security, and limited access by cars. Actually, quite utopian. It shows that contemporary architects are perfectly capable of producing good quality, well designed housing, providing there is a good site, old trees and lots of money, so it may not be such a good model. Simon Bradley compares it to Dutch models, but this is probably because there is so little good housing in the UK, owing to the dominance of commercial volume builders. Most of it is by Feilden Clegg Bradley, but some also by Alison Brooks, including the Brass Building, to create a sense of variety:-

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