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Accordia - "a good piece of ordinariness"

Keith Bradley
5 November 2008

Accordia, Cambridge

Keith Bradley spoke about Building for Life on the rim of a recession as the keynote speaker at the 2008 Building for Life Awards ceremony. He is a senior partner in Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio, the practice which masterplanned the housing scheme Accordia, in Cambridge. 

Accordia won a Building for Life award in 2006 and went on to win the Stirling Prize in 2008, an extraordinary achievement because this was the first time that a housing scheme ever secured the Stirling Prize.  It is worth noting that Accordia has a significant number of affordable units – a third of the scheme's 378 dwellings.

Keith Bradley showed these interesting slides of Accordia below at the end of his keynote speech, commenting: “This is what I would regard as a good piece of ordinariness. Although very specific to its place - and time - there are some simple transferable principles that it advocates.”

The whole is more than the sum of the parts - identity through the urban design concept

Terrace and lawns - the whole is more than the sum of the parts
Photo by Tim Crocker

How part affects the whole - the typology of the individual home

Individual house - how part affects the whole
Photo by Tim Crocker

The street as a communal garden

Street garden - the street as a communal garden
Photo by Tim Crocker

Integration of landscape

Espalier pear trees - integration of landscape
Photo by Tim Crocker

Well defined private space - outdoor living on many levels

Courtyards and terraces - well defined private space
Photo by Tim Crocker

Relationship of the indoors to outdoors

Inside and outside 01 - relationship of the indoors to outdoors
Photo by Tim Crocker

Generous flexible space for life

Inside and outside 02 - generous flexible space for life
Photo by Tim Crocker

Places to play

Street corner play space - places to play
Photo by Tim Crocker

Places for the car

Mews Street - places for the car
Photo by Feilden Clegg Bradley

Sustainability with ecology

Apartments and reed beds  - sustainability with ecology
Photo by Feilden Clegg Bradley

Good mix and tenure - the apartment terrace

Apartment balcony slides   - mix and tenure the apartment terrace
Photo by Tim Crocker