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RTPI East of England / RIBA East: Eddington – walking tour of Stirling Prize nominated Key Worker Housing and other developments

Our walking tour of Eddington, Cambridge, took place on Wednesday 23 March, held jointly by RTPI East of England and RIBA East (organised with the Cambridge Association of Architects). Over 30 attendees joined us to tour the Stirling Prize nominated Key Worker Housing by the University of Cambridge and Stanton Williams Architects and other housing, community facilities and key infrastructure within the development.

Paul Milliner, Head of Planning for the Estates Division at the University of Cambridge, introduced Eddington - the most significant capital project undertaken by the university in its 800-year history. He gave a fascinating overview of how Eddington came forward from the early plan-making process through to delivery to meet the needs of the university for key worker housing for postgraduates and staff, and emphasised the university's clear vision for the development to provide a high quality extension to the city meeting ambitious sustainability targets.

Kaori Ohsugi, architect at Stanton Williams Architects, presented the Key Worker Housing scheme known as Lot 2 in more detail. Sustainability was at the core of the design brief for this scheme, and the presentation highlighted the ways in which social and environmental sustainability had been integral from the earliest design concepts through to the detailed design, from the layout of the courtyards through to the sustainable drainage rills.

Pieter Desnerck, Chair of the Eddington Residents Association completed the picture with insights into the ongoing activities around community-building within the key worker housing and across Eddington. With events as wide-ranging as communal dining and film clubs, it is clear that the Storey's Field community facility is at the heart of the community and playing an important role in bringing the community together.

The sun shone on our walking tour which took in the Lot 2, areas of the market housing and student accommodation for Girton College, highlighting along the way some of the key sustainability features integrated into the development, including the communal waste and recycling facilities, the energy centre and sustainable urban drainage features. We ended with lunch at the Storey's Field Centre and an opportunity to network face to face, bringing together planners, architects and other built-environment professionals.

Our thanks to the speakers and to Gavin Henderson of Stanton Williams and Mark Parsons of the University of Cambridge for their contributions to this successful event, and to Storey's Field Centre for hosting us. Our thanks also to Anastasia Orphanidou, Mart Barrass and Maja Maliszewska at the Cambridge Association of Architects for collaborating with us which we hope will be the first of many. My thanks also to David Ames (RTPI East of England Chair), to Katy Gibson from the RTPI for coordinating the event, and to Graham Bloomfield and Anthony Collier for their assistance. Photos by courtesy of Cambridge-based architectural photographer Richard Fraser, a volunteer for the Cambridge Architecture group - see more at www.richardfraserphotography.co.uk