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Texaco site development under way – but here’s what it could have been

The former Texaco garage site, on the corner of Huntingdon Road and Histon Road, is being developed to provide new student accommodation. Freeland Rees Roberts originally designed a scheme for this site in 2006.

In our scheme, there were 6 storeys to meet the developer’s brief for 30 open market and 13 affordable apartments. It was always a lot to ask of the planners although it would have made a spectacular building on this gateway site with great views over Cambridge from the upper stories. The ground floor was raised slightly above street level, giving some privacy from the busy corner and making room for an entrance to semi-basement parking at the lower end of the sloping site. To provide balconies, give privacy and some shielding from traffic noise and sun, the façade would have been wrapped in a permeable skin consisting of bronzed aluminium aerofoil fins arranged vertically to enable them to negotiate the curved corner.

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