The landscape proposals have been developed by Grant Associates, an award winning landscape architectural practice. The approach to landscape has been designed to respond, not only to Cambridge Assessment’s aspiration to create an enjoyable and varied working environment, but also to create a landscape link to the wider area.
The proposals include the extension of the avenue of tree planting along Shaftesbury Road to create additional habitats for the wider wildlife. This landscape approach also allows the potential to create a wildlife corridor that connects to the surrounding area – see Landscape link diagram.
Key features of the landscape approach include:
The proposals include three podia courtyards that will be located above the secure car and cycle parking. These are designed as green spaces for Cambridge Assessment staff use and each will be based around a different landscape theme, creating a variety of outdoor spaces.
Ground floor courtyards
There are two courtyards proposed for the ground floor. One is a significant space just over 30 metres wide at the building’s main entrance which will feature a small boulevard of trees navigating visitors into the building via a green runway. The second ground floor area is a rear courtyard garden providing staff with further leisure space as a contrast to the office environment. Both of these courtyards also provide pleasant spaces to look out upon from the surrounding offices with the rear courtyard also visible from the guided busway and the trainline into Cambridge from London.
A formal planted channel, known as a swale, is proposed along the front of the new building. Planted with plants such as ornamental grasses and perennials, the swale will help to reduce surface water run-off through the collection of rainwater. It will also provide habitat for certain species of flora and fauna.
As well as providing a landscape link to the wider area, additional tree planting is proposed around the site’s boundaries to help soften the edges of the building form.