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  1. ArchDaily
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  3. Architecture Initiative Transforms Derelict Brutalist Northampton Landmark into Mixed-Use Academy

Architecture Initiative Transforms Derelict Brutalist Northampton Landmark into Mixed-Use Academy

Architecture Initiative Transforms Derelict Brutalist Northampton Landmark into Mixed-Use Academy
Architecture Initiative Transforms Derelict Brutalist Northampton Landmark into Mixed-Use Academy, Proposed public plaza at night. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative
Proposed public plaza at night. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative

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.

Public plaza and facilities. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative Voids allow natural light deep into the building. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative Existing concrete structure is retained. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative Work began on site in September 2016. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative + 22

Proposed public plaza. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative
Proposed public plaza. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative
Public plaza and facilities. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative
Public plaza and facilities. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative

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.

Voids allow natural light deep into the building. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative
Voids allow natural light deep into the building. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative

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.

Open learning environment. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative
Open learning environment. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative
Existing concrete structure is retained. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative
Existing concrete structure is retained. Image Courtesy of 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.

Proposed bird's-eye view. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative
Proposed bird's-eye view. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative

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.

Interior perspective. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative
Interior perspective. Image Courtesy of Architecture Initiative

Construction began on site in September 2016. 

  • Architects

  • Location

    Royal Mail, 55 Barrack Rd, Northampton NN1 1AA, United Kingdom
  • Design Team

    Rowan Parnell, James Pooley
  • Client

    EFA / Northamptonshire County Council
  • Project Management

    Northamptonshire County Council
  • Contract Administrator

    Mace / Currie & Brown
  • Quantity Surveyor

    Mace / Currie & Brown
  • Structural Engineer

    Mace
  • MEP Engineer

    Mott MacDonald
  • Landscape Engineer

    Plincke
  • Main Contractor

    Vinci Construction
  • Budget

    £30million
  • Area

    21000.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2016

News via: Architecture Initiative.

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Cite: Niall Patrick Walsh. "Architecture Initiative Transforms Derelict Brutalist Northampton Landmark into Mixed-Use Academy" 05 Feb 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/804565/architecture-initiative-transforms-derelict-brutalist-northampton-landmark-into-mixed-use-academy/> ISSN 0719-8884

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