Corby Cube: Civic Hub and Arts Centre / Hawkins\Brown

© Hufton+Crow

Architects: Hawkins\Brown
Location: , United Kingdom
Project Year: 2010
Client: Corby Borough Council
Project Area: 715.35 sqm
Photographs: Tim Crocker, Hufton + Crow

Now completed and open to the public, the Hawkins\Brown’s striking glazed Corby Cube is the focal point of a major regeneration programme to revitalize the former steel making town in Northants, UK.

© Tim Crocker

The building features a mix of facilities including: a 450-seat theatre with front of house foyers and bars, multifunctional studio space, café, library, Council Chamber, Terraced Roof Garden with adjacent exhibition space or restaurant, Corby Borough Council One-Stop-Shop and civic offices.


Corby Cube breaks the tradition of a formal town hall situated at the head of the town square and is instead located in the centre of the new square with four active fronts. An external envelope of black and reflective gives the building its characteristic glistening object-like form. Each elevation is distinctively articulated within this: the North elevation is animated by the projected transparent glazed entrance foyer; the East elevation is animated by a double-height window into the council chamber; a cantilevered reading room projects out of the first floor of the South elevation providing shade to café; the West elevation expresses the library within. The pure form of the building is unobstructed by service entrances and plants which are contained in a below ground undercroft.

Section B

Treating the roof as a fifth elevation, they planted generous public roof terraces on the building’s upper levels with full-size trees, and feature sedum and brown roofs to enhance the site’s ecology.

© Hufton+Crow

All facilities are arranged around an internal route, coiled inside the cube form, allowing access for all. Many facilities have a ground floor presence and are inextricably linked, arranged around a continuous route, which rises from the foyer through the building and culminates in a helical stair leading to the rooftop terrace. The building combines uses to ensure activity around the clock, from early morning visitors to the library and café to late night performances in the theatre.

© Tim Crocker

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Corby Cube: Civic Hub and Arts Centre / Hawkins\Brown" 22 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • John-David Carling

    Hideous striping, but everything seems to work great. Nice massing

  • Marian

    Shame that the project went hideously over the budget the Hawkins Brown Design Team were controlling, and that the top two floors cannot be used because they do not meet fire safety regulations.

    The Audit Commission are currently investigating the budget overspend.