Detached house for sale in Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3
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This multi-award-winning, high specification eco-house was designed by the acclaimed architect Meredith Bowles of Mole Architects in 2011. It occupies a quiet and secluded position on Madingley Road, in the western section of the Conservation Area of Cambridge, and extends to over 2,460 sq ft. The internal living space follows a single storey L-shaped plan designed around an internal south-facing garden with a rare Liquidambar tree at its centre. The design takes an exacting approach to light and space, with a focus on natural materials and energy efficiency to support sustainable modes of modern living.
The celebrated architect Meredith Bowles founded Mole Architects in 1996. The practice has received numerous awards for its innovative approach to design, including the highly prestigious riba Manser Medal (2004) for Meredith’s own home which was deemed the best one-off house by an architect in the UK. This particular house won two riba awards in 2012, for its exceptional sustainability and ‘Spirit of Ingenuity’. Meredith lectures widely and is active in promoting sustainable design.
The house is set back from Madingley Road, amongst an area of tree-filled gardens on the western edge of Cambridge. It is uniquely concealed behind a brick gatehouse extension, which houses a workshop and garage that provides private off-street parking. Designed around a number of existing trees protected by a tree preservation order, displacement pile foundations were chosen to create minimum disturbance to the roots.
The house was constructed using a timber frame, with clay blocks providing thermal mass, glulam beams supporting the roof space and a series of integrated ambient energy sources ensuring excellent energy efficiency. Rainwater is harvested and stored in a tank underground, solar panels are used for hot water supply and the underfloor heating is generated from a ground source heat pump. There is also mechanical ventilation with a heat recovery system and low energy lighting fitted throughout. External ‘green walls’ are combined with timber cladding and insulated with hemp inside wood fibre panels for breathability. A green sedum roof spans the easterly wing for additional insulation and biodiversity.
The primary entrance leads directly into a single south-facing corridor that provides circulation to all areas, while retaining a direct visual connection to the garden from every room. The kitchen and dining room are arranged in an open-plan layout, with sliding glass doors opening the entire space onto the internal courtyard. There is an interconnected utility space and pantry store, and a study positioned adjacently. The arterial corridor features deep bay windows which provide a lovely, quiet spot for reading or enjoying the view with a morning coffee; they could even be used as sleeping areas for visiting children.
The three bedrooms are beautifully proportioned; each has an excellent provision of built-in storage and views onto hidden courtyards. Two of the bedrooms have direct access to the garden. The main bedroom has a large en suite bathroom, with a garden view from the bath through a strategically placed low letterbox window. A family bathroom is flanked by the two other bedrooms and has a cleverly conceived mirrored skylight overhead, which frames a view of the Liquidambar tree.
The beautifully light, open-plan living space is located on the westerly wing of the house, where a large log-burner forms a natural focal point to the room. A ribbon of clerestory glazing and a wall of timber-framed glass walls invite an exceptional quality of natural light to flood through; in the summer months, the entire space can be opened onto the garden.
The outside space is an immersive celebration of local wildlife, rich in biodiversity and teeming with flora and fauna; ducks make daily visits, as do plenty of birds, 19 species of butterflies, newts and dragonflies, which are drawn to the nature pond. There is an additional garden studio that offers excellent flexibility of use, easily befitting an additional home workspace, music studio or overflow accommodation.
The house can be found on Madingley Road on the westerly side of Cambridge, around 20 minutes’ walk from the centre and conveniently located near many of the university buildings. Although the city is relatively intimate in scale, it has a superb selection of shops, dining opportunities and cultural events, with Kettles Yard and The Fitzwilliam Museum notable highlights.
There are plenty of green open spaces within easy reach and delightful walking routes towards the River Cam, with Granchester meadows offering opportunities for wild swimming. Cambridge is world-renowned for its university and the quality of its historic architecture, yet is also increasingly recognised as an international business hub, thanks to its growing technology and science industries.
A direct train service runs from Cambridge to London St Pancras in approximately 50 minutes. Extensive intercity bus services also operate within minutes walk from the house. The motorway network is also easily accessed, with the M11 around one and a half miles away.
Madingley Road-01.Jpg View original
* Sizes listed are approximate. Please contact the agent to confirm actual size.
For more information about this property, please contact
The Modern House, SE1 on +44 20 3328 6556 * (local rate)
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