Multi colour brick house with windows in light grey aluminium frame

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Located in a conservation area within central Cambridge, Eden Street Backway is a small development of eight two-storey dwellings, built with a focus on quality and sustainability, and in a contemporary design which remains sympathetic to the surrounding 19th century neighbourhood.

Ideal for small residential projects
VELFAC composite windows and doors were specified for the project by Chris Senior, Director of DPA Architects, who worked closely on the building design with clients Jesus College: ‘Having used VELFAC products extensively we were already familiar with the system,’ comments Chris, ‘and knew it is the ideal solution for small residential projects because it is low maintenance, energy efficient and maintains a slim 54mm sightline across all window units, whether opening or fixed. This delivers a uniform exterior finish with no sub-frames, unique to VELFAC and a feature we have used many times.’

The windows also emphasise the rhythmic design concept: ‘We wanted to echo the local repetitive building style and the VELFAC system plays a key part in this. The exterior aluminium frame features a dark brown finish which not only provides a contrast against the local Cambridge buff brick but also references the dark timbers of the cart lodges which originally occupied the site. Internally, the timber frame is finished in a clear lacquer to emphasise the wood and maintain interior light.’ 

Challenges of a constrained site
VELFAC also rose to the construction challenges posed by a constrained, inner-city site: ‘As VELFAC units are factory finished, they could be delivered ready to install which made the construction process more efficient,’ explains Chris. 

As the development uses only highly sustainable building materials it benefits from very low carbon emissions and running costs; it has also been shortlisted for the 2015 RIBA East Awards, 2015 CIAT Awards, 2015 LABC Awards and was highly commended at the 2015 RICS East of England and 2015 CDCI Awards.