Architecture, Planning, Masterplanning
Situated along the historic route into Cambridge, Madingley Road is a project inspired by the world-famous architect, Le Corbusier, who developed a modernist residential design principle called ‘Unité d'habitation’. It is this concept which has formed the basis of this project which provides a corridor running through the centre of the long axis of every second floor of the building, with each apartment lying on two levels, and stretching from one side of the building to the other, with a balcony. The layout allows for generously proportioned spaces with dual aspect units over two floors. The central corridor reduces the level of circulation space required and confines this to the centre of the building so the external openings are to the benefit of the occupants.
Characteristics of the locality have been used to inform the massing and it is considered that this has been appropriately achieved. A contemporary style that is set back, being subservient to the existing streetscape, provides a positive contribution to the character of the wider area. Detailing of the projecting elements echo those of Willow House providing additional articulation to the elevations. The use of angled bays, constructed from structural concrete, not only addresses overlooking issues, it provides a strong architectural language, providing Block A with its own identity whilst retaining similar proportions ensuring a level of synergy.
By introducing a new material to the 2nd floor provided a visual connection between Blocks A & B. The string course and use of over-sailing canopies and roof trims are evident in Salix House and help provide a horizontal emphasis to the design. Madingley Road provides enhanced views through the site to the nature reserve beyond, providing an opportunity to reflect the progressive development of modernism exemplified by the Conservation Area.