Highgate Studios 53-79 Highgate Road London NW51TL
project image
10 flat apartment
ABA’s 10-flat apartment building at Brooklands Avenue in Cambridge, closely framed by trees on three sides, is the ‘turning point’ building at the central green of the 400-unit masterplan. ABA’s initial instinct was that the building should be crystalline, a shimmering apparition among the trees in contrast to the rigorous orthogonal geometry and brick construction throughout the rest of the site. The radial geometry generates facades at varying angles; internal spaces focus on long oblique views through the trees rather than frontal views toward buildings opposite. Balconies were created by utlising inward and outward façade geometries on alternating floors. Windows are shifted slightly from floor to floor so that each flat has unique views while the apparent ‘movement’ of the facades is accentuated. Although the building appears complex, it is very simple with a repeating floor plate of two 2-bed flats per floor @103sm, multi-use open living spaces and full wheelchair access. Brass cladding accommodates the precise, ‘cut and folded’ form. This building has been compared to baroque architecture - we like the idea that baroque devices of architectural illusion, apparent movement and cultural optimism can transfer from 17th C architecture into housing for the 21st Century.