Delivering a state-of-the-art net-zero carbon retirement living village
below current government carbon reduction targets
A development of 36 low-carbon homes for OX Place, Oxford City Council’s housing company.
Our specialist residential team worked with OX Place to build Bridges Cross, a new community providing a mix of 36 homes for local people in Speedwell Street.
They are available for council tenants, shared owners and homeowners, with almost three-quarters affordable. It comprises of a single block of four to six storeys, made up of 18 one-bed flats, 17 two-bed flats and one three-bed flat.
Bridges Cross was designed by Levitt Bernstein Architects and supported with £1.38m from the Oxfordshire Housing and Growth Deal. It sits on the site of a 13th century Dominican Order (Blackfriars) friary that was demolished after the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1538.
Helen Horne, managing director of OX Place, said:
"At OX Place, our guiding principles have always been to offer design-led, affordable and sustainable homes. Bridges Cross exemplifies this commitment beautifully. Each of the 36 homes we've built here reflects our dedication to not just meeting but exceeding expectations in contemporary urban living."
Lord mayor Lubna Arshad said:
"We welcome the completion of this development. Bridges Cross stands as a testament to our commitment to providing homes that are accessible to all, reflecting the urgent need for affordable housing in Oxford."
To reduce running costs for people living in the homes, Bridges Cross incorporates a "fabric first" approach where the homes are designed with enhanced insulation and air tightness standards. This prevents heat leakage when cold but also supports passive cooling when warm. It is supplemented by rooftop solar PV panels which generate up to 60 per cent of the development’s overall energy use.
Further features include a green roof that improves air quality, aids natural cooling, absorbs rainwater, and encourages biodiversity.
OX Place managing director Helen Horne added:
"Bridges Cross isn't just a building. It's a vibrant community in the making, and I look forward to seeing it thrive."
The minimal carbon footprint is further supported by being a car-free development, except for two parking spaces equipped with EV chargers for flats adapted to people with mobility needs. Also, every flat is provided with two bike parking spaces.
Richard Poulter, managing director of Willmott Dixon said:
“It’s been a pleasure to help deliver the council’s housing development programme alongside them where sustainability has been at the forefront."
Located in the heart of Oxford, the project is part of the council’s ambitions to deliver nearly 1,900 homes.
St Thomas House
6 Becket Street