London-based firm Architecture Initiative has released updates of their mixed-use scheme set to transform a neglected brutalist building in Northampton, England. The Northampton International Academy, currently an abandoned Royal Mail sorting office, will be centered around educational, commercial, and community use. The scheme aims to address a need for school places in a manner which contributes to the economic regeneration of the local area.
When completed, the Northampton International Academy will contain a primary school, secondary school, and sixth-grade school accommodating 2220 students in total. In addition, the scheme will offer public facilities including cafes, offices, a private nursery, and a gym. The flexible adaption allows for internal spaces to be reconfigured in the future, ensuring the building will never again fall abandoned.
As architects we believe in the power of design to create learning spaces that will inspire the next generation. Projects such as this academy also demonstrate how we can regenerate entire areas and increase local prosperity through a considered, commercial approach – Matt Goodwin, Managing Director at Architecture Initiative.
The vision of the refurbishment is to create an open, accessible hub of activity. New openings will be added to the outer shell, allowing natural light deep into the building. The existing masonry mass will remain largely unchanged, apart from the addition of a five-court sports hall filling the existing rooftop courtyard. A public plaza will emphasize a sense of openness, and encourage interaction between the staff, students and local community.
The adaptive and regenerative re-use of the derelict Royal Mail sorting office ingeniously provides a modern educational establishment that has a significantly reduced carbon footprint and less embodied energy than a new build equivalent – Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools.
Construction began on site in September 2016.
LocationRoyal Mail, 55 Barrack Rd, Northampton NN1 1AA, United Kingdom
Design TeamRowan Parnell, James Pooley
ClientEFA / Northamptonshire County Council
Project ManagementNorthamptonshire County Council
Contract AdministratorMace / Currie & Brown
Quantity SurveyorMace / Currie & Brown
MEP EngineerMott MacDonald
News via: Architecture Initiative.