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RIBA National Award Win for Abode in Cambridge

18 June 2015


Abode, the housing development in Cambridge, has been announced as a winner of a prestigious RIBA National Award. Abode is the only major housing scheme outside of London to receive one and is the only winning project in the East of England after it was named ‘RIBA East Building of the Year 2015’.  Abode forms part of Great Kneighton to the south of Cambridge city centre, where housebuilder Countryside is creating an exciting new neighbourhood with a wide range of facilities.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) National Awards are the ‘most rigorously judged awards for architectural excellence in the UK’ and the winning schemes now go forward to the Stirling Prize which will be announced in October. 

RIBA commended the way that the complex brief for the scheme had been successfully executed by architects Proctor & Matthews, noting the high quality of the design and the careful attention to detail in its architecture.   

Tony Travers, Managing Director of the New Homes & Communities Central division at Countryside said: “We are honoured to receive this RIBA National Award which recognises the outstanding skill and care with which Abode has been designed. There is a huge demand for new housing in Cambridge and across the country, but Abode demonstrates that a large housing development can be delivered to the highest standards of design. Countryside is committed to creating exceptional new communities that become desirable and sustainable places to live – Abode is a fantastic example of this.”

Abode includes a wide variety of properties from one bedroom apartments through to six bedroom barn style houses designed to suit a wide range of residents and lifestyles.  All properties feature innovative, well-considered design and a high quality interior specification. Spread across three distinct zones and surrounded by extensive landscaping that helps the buildings relate to the surrounding countryside, Abode takes its design cues from traditional Cambridge architecture reworked for 21st century living and incorporates the best in sustainable design.

Andrew Matthews from architects Proctor & Matthews said: “We are extremely pleased that Abode at Great Kneighton has won a RIBA National Award. The project demonstrates that volume housebuilding, good design and attention to detail can go hand in hand and we are grateful to Countryside, our client, for their continued support and encouragement in the creation of a new residential neighbourhood, designed in response to the specific Cambridgeshire context while addressing 21st Century lifestyle patterns.”

This is not the first time that Countryside’s Cambridge developments have been recognised by RIBA. In 2008, Countryside’s Accordia development in Cambridge not only won a RIBA Award but also the Stirling Prize, which is RIBA’s top award for the single best new building.

Abode has also won a string of other prominent industry awards recently including ‘Development of the Year’ at the Sunday Times British Homes Awards, the National Panel Special Award 2015 at the Civic Trust Awards and ‘Best Development – Bronze’ at the What House Awards 2014.

Abode is one of three current developments at Great Kneighton where Countryside is creating over 2,550 new homes as well as a wide range of amenities and community facilities, which include the 120-acre country park, new schools, a health centre, shops, library and transport hub. The superb outdoor facilities include allotments, ponds, playing fields and adventure play areas. Located approximately three miles from the city centre, Abode is in easy reach of central Cambridge, Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the Cambridge Biomedical Campus via the Cambridge Guided Bus.

The next phase of new homes at Abode is due to launch later this summer, providing one, two and three-bedroom apartments and duplexes as well as two, four and five-bedroom houses, set within this exciting and vibrant growing community hub.  For further information and to register interest, visit or call 01223 846 650.

For more press information, contact Zoe Murzell at Oracle PR on

020 8394 2821 or

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