Marmalade Lane

  • © Marmalade Lane within Orchard Park context
  • © Neighbouring street - credit David Butler
  • © Neighbouring street - credit David Butler
  • © Neighbouring street - credit David Butler
  • © Within the shared garden - credit David Butler
  • © Marmalade Lane - credit David Butler
  • © Marmalade Lane - credit David Butler
  • © Neighbouring street - credit David Butler
  • © Great Hall of the Common House - credit David Butler
  • © Early image of Marmalade Lane
  • © Common House
  • © Apartment block
  • © Marmalade Lane
  • © Common House, credit David Butler
  • © Hedgehog sculpture being finished
  • © Monthly rubbish ramble
  • © The hosted shared electric cargo trike with its art design (from local children's art work) in development
  • © Mural underway opposite Marmalade Lane
  • © Compost bins and community growing area

Special Award

Special Award for Sustainability
Sponsored by Derwent London

Application Type

Civic Trust Awards

Level of Award

Special Award



Local Authority Area



Information about this scheme

Marmalade Lane is a cohousing scheme in Cambridge, a group custom build development of sustainable apartments and houses and shared facilities. All homes were sold at market value through off-plan purchases. The design responses were enhanced through workshops with future residents as part of the collaborative design process, with residents able to configure their home to meet their individual requirements, selecting different dwelling types, floor plan layouts, brick colours, and extensive kitchen and bathroom options (including self-fit). This multigenerational community has fostered social interaction, with residents aged from 0 to 80 years old, who know and support each other and share the day-to-day management of their community. As well as their individual private homes and outdoor gardens and balconies, households have the shared use of a common house where they can cook, eat and socialise together and a large shared garden, incorporating amenity space, rainwater management areas, food growing areas and retained trees and hedgerow. Marmalade Lane was designed to maximise environmental gain and minimise negative environmental impacts. The layout features a large, south-facing shared garden with wild meadow areas, retained ancient hedgerow, lawn, SUDS and food-growing beds at the heart of the scheme. Homes are built with the Trivselhus closed-timber panel system or a CLT frame giving excellent thermal performance and low energy bills. MVHR is used throughout, and air source heat pumps provide low-carbon energy. Residents are now building on this foundation and taking steps to reduce their waste, recycle more, reduce their car ownership and share resources. This is not an inwardly facing community; residents are active contributors to their local neighbourhood. Marmalade Lane is testament to what can be achieved through close collaboration with future residents and what building more sociable homes can then go on to achieve in terms of environmental and social impact, and in the context of Covid-19, community resilience. It has sought to enshrine the principles of sustainable development throughout the process and to integrate social, economic and environmental objectives.



Mole Architects

Main Contractor

Coulsons Building Group


Cambridge City Council

Project Partners

Trivselhus UK

Project Partners



Cambridge Cohousing

Primary Use Class

Class C3 - Dwelling Houses