RIBA Stirling Prize 2008

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Accordia is high density housing at its very best, demonstrating that volume house-builders can deliver high quality architecture – and that as a result they can improve their own bottom line. The whole scheme is about relationships: between architect and developer/contractor/client; between three very different firms of architects – Feilden Clegg Bradley, Maccreanor Lavington and Alison Brooks Architects; and between private and public external spaces, providing a new model for outside-inside life with interior rooftop spaces, internal courtyards and large semi-public community gardens.

On a brownfield site in Cambridge – formerly owned by the military – beautifully thought-through houses at a density of 47 homes to the hectare (65 if you discount the generous amenity spaces). The planners, led by the remarkable Peter Studdert, have been extraordinarily imaginative. How often do planners use their powers to withhold permission unless the developers use good architects to produce fine architecture? What other authority would have allowed terraces at first and second floor level (instead of gardens), rather than banning them on grounds of over-looking? In addition there is common land where children safely play as if in some idyllic throwback to the 1950s.  Read Full Story…

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