One Angel Square completes

One Angel Square, a new headquarters building for Northamptonshire County Council has completed, enabling its workforce to relocate from 12 separate properties into one BREEAM Excellent building.

The brief was for a 22,000 m² flexible office to accommodate 2,000 employees. The Council’s vision was to provide an environment for collaborative working, enable new ways of working for improved productivity, and also to serve as a catalyst for wider urban regeneration.

The building sits in a historically important quarter and our design respects the scale and grain of its largely residential neighbours.

In addition to being a crucial move for the council, this is an important urban regeneration story for Northampton. The building’s entrance faces a new public square, and leads into a four storey atrium reception and internal street. The building is designed as two ‘yin and yang’ forms enclosing a central courtyard, with office space, informal meeting areas, touchdown areas and other collaborative spaces grouped around it.

BDP was architect, civil & structural engineer, building services engineer, landscape architect, interior designer, lighting designer and acoustic consultant for the £40m building which was won in competition in 2013.

Architect’s View

Our building regenerates this historically important quarter of the town, whilst respecting the scale and grain of its neighbours and preserving cherished longer views across the town’s skyline. It never the less reflects the best of contemporary, sustainable office design.

A new public space, Angel Square, creates an appropriate setting for the building entrance and forms part of a potential new sequence of public spaces linking All Saints Church to St John’s Church and its gardens. From the entrance staff and visitors arrive into a 4 storey reception and street which leads to a courtyard in the centre of the plan. Stairs and lifts are located on either side, and informal meeting, working and other collaborative spaces are grouped around it creating a social hub for the building.

The building is designed as two blocks which enclose the courtyard. A second street extends to the south, filling the building with natural light and creating a visual connection with St John’s Church. The change of level across the site is taken up by an undercroft area which accommodates car parking, cycle storage, and on the St John Street façade, office space which could potentially convert to retail use. The natural light, visual connectivity between the floors and courtyard help to create c a building that allows both staff and visitors to experience a sense of wellbeing and encourage collaboration.

The predominantly glazed facades are clad with vertical copper fins. These control solar gain, create a colour and texture when viewed from acute angles down the narrow streets, and connect the building to the distinctive urban fabric of the area. The patterning of the louvers is inspired by the local traditional leather cutting lines for hand-made shoes.

Best practice passive design strategies combined with innovative approaches have delivered exemplary levels of user comfort and well being, whilst reducing operational energy costs and carbon emissions.

Project Data

  • Location – Northampton
  • Type of project – Office
  • Client – Northamptonshire County Council
  • Project Manager & Client Representatives – Lendlease
  • Architect – BDP
  • Interior/Graphic Designer – BDP
  • Landscape architect – BDP
  • Structural engineer – BDP
  • M&E consultant – BDP
  • Lighting consultant – BDP
  • Planning consultant – Nexus
  • Cost Consultant – Gleeds
  • Main contractor – Galliford Try
  • Brief Writer & Technical RIBA Client advisor – Consarc
  • Start on site date –  2014
  • Completion date  – Sep 2017
  • Gross internal floor area – 22,000m²
  • Total cost – £40M