Earlier this year the University of Cambridge announced an ambitious new urban extension in the north west of the city in order to create a framework for a new district centered on a mixed academic and urban community. The development, planned by Aecom, has aspirations of achieving urban space that is well balanced, permanent and sustainable. Containing 1,500 homes for its key workers, accommodation for 2,000 postgraduate students, 1,500 homes for sale, 100,000 square metres of research facilities and a local centre with a primary school, community centre, health centre, supermarket, hotel and shops, proposals from Mecanoo and MUMA are now entering the planning phase. Future lots are expected to be filled by the likes of Stanton Williams, Alison Brooks Architects and by Cottrell and Vermeulen working with Sarah Wigglesworth and AOC.
The project reached a milestone this month when the application for the Community Centre, a key aspect of the integrated masterplan, was approved by the local planning authorities. The single-storey building designed by McInnes Usher McKnight Architects (MUMA) will be "ideally placed within the heart of a vibrant community, close to the future market square and primary school, whilst also including space for a nursery." Incorporating a main hall and two multi-purpose rooms "have been configured from feedback from the facility managers, representatives from potential users and local residents." In addition to the Community Centre, an application for 232 key-worker homes by the Dutch practice Mecanoo was also approved at the local authorities planning meeting.
Heather Topel, Deputy Project Director of the North West Cambridge Development said that "the proposal for the Community Centre is a culmination of thoughtful intelligent design and genuine dialogue with the local community. This aspect of the development is very much a joint venture that brings together Cambridge City Council and the University to provide a quality facility for the community, and we look forward to delivering this aspect in partnership."
Work on the development's infrastructure will start in 2014 with phased completions from late 2015 to 2016. To view all the documents and updated information, check out the North West Cambridge website.
References: North West Cambridge