Last week I paid a short visit to Cambridge where there is a lot of new development going on.
I thought I would briefly set out here a few examples of what I saw. On the whole I wasn’t very impressed.
Just off the edge of the town itself was this:
I am not impressed – perhaps it is just me, but this reminds me of the block of kennels at Battersea Dogs Home which you can see from the train as you go into London’s Victoria Train Station, or the site offices of some of the bigger construction projects.
This is in close proximity to Cambridge Train Station:
And this is a little further up the road:
I haven’t got the time to go into a discourse on Urban Design here in order to explain what is wrong with it in detail, but what I have shown above leaves me cold – it just looks characterless, and is placeless. It creates a dark canyon. It could be anywhere and has a lack of soul. I can’t imagine it being a pleasant place to live or visit.
At a quite different scale I saw this new development which I did quite like:
Even with this, having no front garden, with the building line going nearly up to the road, it means that the residents feel the need to have their blinds down all of the time, but this can be forgiven as these homes have been slotted into a tight spot and the road is very quiet. But this building right up to the pavement is done too often in my view.