Seven Acres


Formation Architects designed and delivered this multi award-winning sustainable scheme comprising of 128 houses and flats for Homes by Skanska in Cambridge.

  • Client: Homes by Skanska
  • Size: 128 houses and apartments
  • Status: Completed
  • Sectors
    Mainstream Residential, Private Development
  • Services
    Concept Design, Construction Delivery

Sustainable, Scandinavian homes in Cambridge

Formation Architects designed and delivered this multi award-winning sustainable scheme comprising of 128 houses and flats for Homes by Skanska in Cambridge. The scheme was developed to set a quality benchmark for Skanska’s future developments and is designed to meet high standards of sustainability. Formation Architects saw the whole project through from designing the initial feasibility study, planning application, managed the construction and delivery, all the way through to the interiors.

“The guys at Formation Architects were central to the success of this project. They were not only a really professional outfit but also a pleasure to work with.”

Alan Gillman, Development Director, Skanska

The layout and design guide

The site is located in a residential urban extension to the south of, Cambridge and is organised around park-like communal spaces.

The scheme includes 128 homes –70 two and three-storey houses, and 58 flats in four-storey buildings which flank the entrances to the new neighbourhood.

The specifications were developed in line with Skanska’s brand, building on the Scandinavian heritage of the company. These include strong sustainability credentials and the project achieves Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4 with an individually designed house, , achieving Code Level 5 using a SIP panel system.

AV2 C8704 Edit 2

Architectural approach and community feel

The homes were designed for families in mind; with practical details, such as the benches outside the front door of each each house for muddy boots.. The different building types are arranged in long and short rows, are staggered individually, or paired like semi-detached houses. Recessed structures and varying heights, narrow storey-spanning windows, and small balconies give the place a playful appearance.

AV2 C3930 Edit

Design details and sustainable interiors

Oak timber completes the limited materials palette of the eight house types and three apartment buildings. All homes have a minimum ceiling height of 2.7 metres or feature gallery-like openings; sliding doors allow for variable connections; and terraces on all floors supplement the gardens.

With 40 per cent affordable housing, homes have strong insulation, managed ventilation with heat recovery, triple glazing, photovoltaics, green roofs, and rainwater collection. Bicycle storage rooms in each house remind the residents how they themselves can contribute to saving energy.

Seven Acres The Bench
Seven Acres The Bench
Seven Acres The Bench


Nominated for the Wienerberger Brick Award 16. Ideal Home of the Year Award at the Blue Ribbon Awards 2013. 2013 Gold Best What House? Award, 2013 Bronze Best Sustainable Development What House? Awards 2013. Recognised by Building for Life 12. Overall Winner of the Best Development Multiple Units, UK for the International Property Awards 2012. Shortlisted for The Housing Design Awards 2012. Commended for the Sunday Times British Homes Awards 2012. Highly commended for the House Builder Awards 2012.

AV2 C4047 Edit

Next Case Study:

Mitcham's Park

Formation Architects was appointed by Crest Nicholson in September 2013 to design a residential scheme for this site on the former Cambridge City Football Club close to Cambridge City Centre.