Sustainable single family homes designed by the award-winning Jo Cowen Architects (JCA) have been submitted for planning approval as part of the University of Cambridge’s development at Eddington.

JCA has designed cutting-edge rental homes as part of a new £160m GDV neighbourhood that will promote healthy and sustainable living within the University of Cambridge’s 150-hectare Eddington master-plan.

As well as designing the housing at Present Made at Eddington, which will be developed, owned and operated for the long term by Apache Capital’s Present Made single-family housing platform, JCA designed the wider masterplan for the Present Made neighbourhood.

The JCA-designed masterplan for Present Made seeks to create a cohesive neighbourhood proposal that integrates into its surroundings whilst creating a new context for future phases of the development.

Present Made, which is wholly owned and fully funded by Apache Capital, is targeting a net-zero carbon operational model, with JCA’s designs for both the homes and wider neighbourhood having sustainability at their very core. The homes at Eddington will be highly energy efficient thanks to a combination of smart technology and modern methods of construction, with the houses precision engineered in a factory environment in a process that is less wasteful, disruptive and time consuming compared to traditional construction techniques.

The designs for the Present Made neighbourhood incorporate car-free zones, promoting an informal environment where families are able to come together to meet, play, garden, or else enjoy the abundant greenery. Potting sheds and gardening spaces build upon the liveable streets, promoting residents’ engagement with the landscaping at the heart of the design proposals, whilst reading nooks and public bookcases further the sense of community and collective identity promoted in the development.

The £160m scheme, alongside the the wider Present Made model and concept, has been designed and curated by JCA and is centred around the four pillars of:

1. Activated Public Realm – from Liveable Streets to a Raised Garden Court, residents will benefit from a range of outdoor spaces that facilitate connectedness to nature and each other, wellbeing, walking, cycling and exercise as part of a design that prioritises people above cars

2. Community Creation – a range of internal and external amenity spaces combined with a year-long calendar of communal events will encourage residents to meet and get to know their neighbours

3. Professional Management – Present Made will retain ownership and control of the completed development, with residents benefiting from an on-site management team that is readily available, handling any maintenance issues speedily as well as organising regular socials

4. Talent Retention – by offering a new type of high quality rental housing that has never been seen before in the UK, Present Made at Eddington will help Cambridge capture and retain talent by providing an attractive alternative to homeownership that is both flexible and secure in tenure

Jo Cowen, CEO of Jo Cowen Architects, said:  “Present Made at Eddington will be characterised by a high-quality of architecture and a highly-liveable public realm, with the idea of time well-spent being central to the concept.

“We have designed a sustainable neighbourhood focused around people, not cars, which aims to connect an intergenerational community with one another and improve the quality of everyday lives through high quality homes and streets.

“The scheme will deploy modern methods of construction through bespoke design, integrating new technologies with a holistic vision to deliver a development and amenity spaces that promote sustainable living, wellness, human connection, personal growth, and common unity.”

Richard Jackson, co-founder of Apache Capital and CEO at Present Made said: “It is a privilege to be working alongside the University of Cambridge in delivering the UK’s first family homes to be specifically designed and built for rent.

“This would not have been possible had it not been for the strategic concept, design and development by Jo Cowen Architects, which was central to the University of Cambridge’s decision to select Present Made.

“Present Made homes will sit in master-planned, landscape-led communities that have been designed around people not cars, to promote active, healthy and sustainable lifestyles.

“Harnessing the power of institutional capital, Present Made will own, develop and operate beautiful, sustainable homes for the long term. Our aim is to create a new way of living, providing aspirational yet attainable housing set within living streets and active communities that are integrated with their surroundings. Our vision is to encourage healthy and sustainable lifestyles, making them second nature to our residents.

“Present Made will help the University and City attract and retain talent as part of a multi-tenure diversified intergenerational community to complement the exceptional placemaking and quality of mixed-use development already delivered by the University.”

Brian Nearney, Commercial Director from the University of Cambridge, commented: “Eddington sets the standard in sustainable living. Unprecedented in its ambition and scale, Eddington is part of the University’s plans to safeguard its future as a world-leading university by providing key workers, students and the wider community with a vibrant place to live.

“Present Made will take a unique role at Eddington with the delivery of highly sustainable family homes and their on-going community development work which complements the overall masterplan vision.”

The University of Cambridge was advised by Bidwells.

About Eddington

Eddington is a mixed academic and urban community: a place that is sustainable, long lasting and ambitious offering a high quality of life to enhance both the City and the University of Cambridge.

The vision for the 150-hectare development includes: 3,000 homes; 2,000 student bedspaces; 100,000 sqm of new academic and commercial research space; as well as space for senior living, a community centre, supermarket and shops, health facilities, a primary school and nursery, a hotel and extensive open space and landscaping