Site visit to Cambridge cohousing project


Last weekend a group of us from Sussex Cohousing, along with a group from Cohousing Upon Tyne, had the pleasure of a site tour around Cambridge based cohousing project, Marmalade Lane, with our current development partners Town. Marmalade Lane is a cohousing project that Town are delivering and we wanted to get an up close look at a project that's further on than our own.

The image above is taken from the bottom left corner in the plan illustration (below), and looks across the 1 acre site as it's being developed. This particular project has 42 dwellings, along with communal and shared spaces, including a kayak storage space - talk about building something bespoke to meet the needs of a community!

At present we're looking for sites with an approximate size of 0.4 - 0.9 acres, so almost up to the size of this site, to hold up to 35 dwellings.

It was fascinating to see a project closer to realisation, to discuss the process, the considerations, the building methods and the timeline. The project took a year to get through planning, and will take a year to build.

Marmalade Lane was a project initiated by a pioneering and progressive city council in Cambridge, and uses a variety of sustainable building methods, including Swedish near-passive-house Trivselhus. Have a scroll below to see some of our pics from the visit, with descriptions...

We watched a series of roof sections get craned into place, slotting neatly and simply together like jigsaw pieces.^

This is a view of the projects large, green, common garden area (in addition to dwellings having small individual gardens. We were surprised they were looking to have allotments off site, given they seemed to have a substantial space here, but of course we don't know the detail of this projects discussion and decision making.^

A happy Sussex Cohouser feeling official and one step closer to the realisation of our own project, for visiting another project.^

The roofing tiles were contemporary non-slate versions of their much heavier slate counterparts.^

This section of the project housed flats as well as the Common House. The veranda's visible will be suspended from above so there will be no struts on the ground level.^

Another excited member of Sussex Cohousing ready for the tour!^

This a view into the 'Great Hall' in the Common House, which at the far end has a double-height spaciousness. This is where the community will hold it's shared meals, community events and the like. The shared kitchen is round the corner to the left in the image.^

The shared kitchen. Or it will be! ^

This is taken from the double-height 'Great Hall' in the common house, with the shared kitchen on the right hand side of the ground floor. Above is a mezzanine that will have a collection of rooms for office space, meditation and meeting rooms.^

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