The site is located on Regent Terrace which fronts the southwest side of Parker’s Piece situated within the Central Conservation Area of Cambridge. Parker’s Piece is a key area of public open space (10Ha) within the city. It is roughly square in shape and also bounded by Park Terrace, Parkside, and Gonville Place. The principal northwest side is characterised by the large late Georgian terraces of Park Terrace and the recently rebuilt University Arms Hotel.
Regent Terrace itself is rather fragmented in appearance with the majority of buildings built piecemeal over the last half century. These have a mixed character with a variety of forms, scale and uses but are somewhat unified by the use of brickwork. Generally, these are built on, or very close to, the street frontage in close proximity to each other to create a terraced form.
The proposed design on the Regent Street frontage makes strong reference to the Georgian terrace typology but does not seek to replicate this. References include; regular openings aligned above each other, vertical or square proportioned windows, parapet with attic storey set back behind, projecting balconies, railings at ground floor level, simple understated design and dark brickwork. Although Georgian terraces had a hierarchy of window sizes this was based on the logic that the most important rooms had the largest windows (i.e. first floor living rooms where the largest size and servant attic rooms the smallest). Here we have an equivalence of use on ascending floors, therefore using the same logic openings remain constant in size.
Internally, the flats are arranged with the main living/dining/kitchen areas facing Parker’s Piece with the bedrooms located at the rear, facing the spire of the nearby Roman Catholic Church. The apartments will all be dual aspect, and provide good quality living conditions. Each one bedroom apartment is provided with a roof terrace or balcony for private amenity space and the ground floor unit has its own private garden area at the rear.
We believe this proposal successfully integrates itself into the existing urban environment whilst providing high quality and sustainable residential accommodation within the city centre. The scheme infills missing elements in the street frontage, whilst responding to the existing pattern of development, scale, and general character of buildings fronting Parker’s Piece. It is considered that the proposal will thereby provide meaningful enhancement to the immediate townscape and wider Conservation Area.
The scheme has yet to gain planning approval but has won the support of the council’s Conservation Officer and the Cambridge residents group Cambridge Past Present and Future.
Project Team: Turley (Planning Consultants): Northmores (Project Managers): AFP (Structural Engineers):