Trumpington Road is one of the main routes into Cambridge and although a busy road, is wide and leafy. To the north boundary of the site is a detached cottage with its gable end defining the site boundary. This building is set back from the busy road behind a deep band of trees and landscaping. The south boundary of the site is a narrow private lane leading to a row of small terraced houses. Immediately adjacent the site along this lane is a house with its gable end against the footway of Trumpington Road.
The design has developed as a response to these boundary constraints. The plan of the four houses follow the conventional model of terraced housing, but with each house stepping back from the next, creating a series of smaller forms which negotiate the space between the neighbouring buildings. The roofs run perpendicular to the street, forming gabled frontages which reflect the existing house to the south boundary. These roof forms, clad in zinc, contain second floor bedrooms and are detached from each other along the terrace. This reduces the massing of each house and together with the stepped set-backs allows each house to read as a separate form, of a scale which reflects the adjacent cottages.
The high level gables facing the street are glazed to take in the views across open fields. Between each gable is a glass box which will bring daylight deep into the plan and illuminate the staircase and circulation areas of each house. The houses will be timber frame, manufactured off-site to reduce the impact of the construction on the tight site and will significantly reduce the carbon footprint (embodied energy) of the building. Each house will have high levels of insulation and airtightness, with mechanically ventilated heat recovery, air source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels on the roof. With these measures the homes will be equivalent to Passivhaus standard.