This substantial residential quarter is widely regarded as setting a new benchmark for large scale housing in the UK and was the first housing project to receive the RIBA Stirling Award, in 2008. Accordia is the highest ranking residential scheme ever in the Building for Life Awards, the national UK standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods by CABE and The Home Builders Federation. It was scored 18 out of 20 by a panel of experts who score the design quality against the 20 Building for Life criteria. We were appointed to masterplan this strategically important brownfield site, and subsequently to design 212 houses and 166 apartments at an overall density of 47 dwellings per hectare. We appointed Maccreanor Lavington and Alison Brooks Architects to design 25% and 10% of the housing respectively, in order to bring variety to the scheme. Our aim has been to produce an exemplary urban environment: a desirable place to live that balances usable private space within an overall structure of high quality public space. The design includes a variety of innovative house and apartment types in the form of terraces, courtyard houses and ‘set-piece’ apartment buildings, composed within public landscaped gardens which extend to approximately 3 hectares. The combination of private open spaces in the form of courtyards, roof terraces and large balconies, designed as an integral part of the architecture, and generous communal gardens designed by Grant Associates, reflect the changing aspirations of modern lifestyles and continue a strong tradition of domestic architecture in Cambridge.