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Cambridge K1 is a cohousing community located in the modern neighborhood of Orchard Park, north of Cambridge City Centre. The community is made up of 40 adults and about 10 children and has 42 custom- designed homes complemented by first-class shared facilities promoting sustainable living and community cohesion.

Cambridge K1 community

During the semester study, a case study was done on this cohousing scheme and it was analyzed according the Building for Life 12 criterion.

BFL Analysis

Integrating into the neighborhood

1. Connections : The scheme sits well in its context and has a clearly defined vehicular entrance from the Topper street. Further smaller green alleys and connections to surrounding streets is seen for pedestrians and cyclist. It does not disrupt any major road networks and has close proximity to a major road (Kings Hedges Road).

2. Facilities and services : Two supermarkets and two schools are located within half a mile. Small mixed-use development with stores are also close by along with Sports facilities and a community centre in the area. A fairly high quality play area is also situated right next to site. The cohousing scheme integrates a communal garden and shared facilities within the scheme.

3. Public Transport : Cambridge busway stop is located right next to site with frequent bus services that is roughly every 10-15 minutes catering to the needs of the residents.

Site along with surrounding streets and closest bus stop

4. Meeting local housing requirements: A definite mixture of housing typology is observed including terraced housing, flats and apartments.

Creating a Place

Sections/Elevations showing character and materials

5. Character: The scheme has a strong and distinctive character and also fits well with architectural style and character of neighbouring developments. A strong emphasis on the building materials is seen.

6. Working with the Site and its context: The scheme has a strong sustainability focus and has prevented the cutting of existing oak trees on-site and preserving them in the community garden displaying their sensitivity to wildlife. The scheme is oriented to maximise solar gain and the communal garden receives ample sunlight throughout.

Site Masterplan, Cambridge K1

7. Creating well defined streets and places: A clear hierarchy of streets is observed with one vehicular entrance into the site. The lane; a green alley within the scheme becomes a shared space for enjoy and enhances the layout further. Buildings front the street and the back doors open out into communal green areas.

8. Easy to find your way around: The scheme is very simple to navigate through with a fairly geometrical masterplan with distinct parking and routes throughout.

Streets and Homes

‘The Lane’, shared green alley within the scheme

9. Street for all: The green alley designed within the scheme is a small green street which is a safe communal space for kids to play.

10. Car Parking: K1 has designated parking for one space per home, along with extra spaces for visitors, “without encroaching on space for people.”

11. Public and Private space: A lot of effort has been made to make the design as attractive and green as possible and a large communal garden sits in the centre of the scheme.

Masterplan highlighting Communal facilities and storage space across site

12. External Storage and Amenity space: Plenty of cycle storage, communal storage and common bins are dispersed all around the proposed site.

The scheme has all amenities and satisfies all the Building For Life 12 criteria very efficiently.

References and Images :

BFL – “Building For Life 12 – Third Edition”. Design Council. N.p., 2017. Web -18 may 2017

Cambridge K1 website, brochure. web access –

Cambridge K1, townhus design boards. web access –

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509


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