As those of you who attempted to get in touch with the office and were greeted with a unanimous ‘out of office’ response will already know, the Globe team were out of their usual surroundings and enjoying a team training day in Cambridge on Tuesday. Spirits were high having managed to squeeze ourselves into Phil’s car, with Phil keen to explore a development which has been the subject of much discussion of recent best practice, me looking forward to my first ‘study day’ out with the team, and James ecstatic to find himself within a stones throw of where he had experienced the “best scotch egg of his life”.
With Lincoln and Cambridge both being historic Roman cities now home to large student populations, the purpose of our trip was to visit some of Cambridge’s high-profile urban extensions and consider how we may help shape potential similar urban extensions to Lincoln. Our first stop saw us explore the Accordia development situated just south of Cambridge city centre. Located on a former military-owned brownfield site, Accordia was completed in 2006 and was the first housing project to win the RIBA Stirling Prize. Being able to experience such an innovative development first hand, and to appreciate how it had achieved high-density urban living set within generous landscaped public spaces gave us plenty to consider, as we began to bounce around ideas as to what we may look to achieve within a potential urban extension to Lincoln.
After spending the morning racking up our daily steps at Accordia it seemed necessary to grab some lunch to fuel us through the rest of our day out. James was the natural co-ordinator of this part of the day and led us directly to the pub that he had spent much of Monday afternoon talking up to the team. I’m pleased to confirm that James’ recommendation did not disappoint, and that he will continue to take the lead of Globe’s lunch-time destinations on future trips.
Sufficiently rested, we headed on into Cambridge to do a brief spot of sight-seeing (including an obligatory group photo whilst looking out onto The Backs) before jumping in the car once again to travel further south to an extension to the village of Trumpington. Located approximately three miles from the city centre, this gave us an opportunity to consider an extension in an area where space was not at as much of a premium as it was closer to the city centre at Accordia. Whilst this development was therefore not as high-density as the scheme we saw earlier in the day, both were united by their shared preference in favour of large, open, public spaces. After a quick stop here, it was time to head back to Lincoln in a successful attempt to miss the rush-hour traffic.
Overall, we had an enjoyable and worthwhile day tracing back the considerations which had gone into these developments at the planning stage of such schemes. Our observations have continued into our discussions on Wednesday, and it seems a day out in sunny Cambridge provided us with a welcome boost to the start of a new week.
Here’s to our next team trip out!