New style flows into the old

Taylor Maxwell facades help newbuild student flats feel at home in Northampton conservation area

In association with

One of the challenges presented by building 464 new student flats for Northampton University was that the St John’s site abuts the Derngate Conservation Area, in a part of the town that has many buildings of historic interest – several of them listed. Andy Roberts, a director at Nottingham based architect Church Lukas, outlined some of the elements that needed to be balanced in the project:

'Trying to put 500 rooms into a city centre is a very difficult task. You need to fit in with the facades and scale of the surrounding context. That requires two things; different materials, and different proportions to break up the mass. We  looked at the proportions of the building and decided to create a number of structures rather than a big monolithic block, because of the scale of the buildings neighbouring the site.'

12

The contribution needed from the materials supplier was to create a complimentary feel to the different buildings. But this was to be achieved not by using random materials to set up an artificial contrast. What was required was a transition from one building to the next so that when you are walking around, the development feels unified and fits with the conservation area, while the brick on each building is actually very subtly different: that was the objective.

Building in a conservation area guarantees extra scrutiny, but it is also a chance for architects, builders and suppliers to display their skills; unifying old and new so that both elements enhance each other.

Church Lukas turned to Taylor Maxwell to provide the facades for this project. Andy Roberts described why the firm is the practice's first choice supplier for bricks and cladding panels: 'We have a longstanding relationship with TM. On almost every project we do, I will call the local rep and ask him to source certain materials. As well as doing that, he will provide images of what it would look like in context. You can make informed decisions from that process, which is a superb service in itself.'

cladding@taylor.maxwell.co.uk

taylormaxwell.co.uk/facades


 

Latest

Two bespoke rooflights help create focal points, beautiful views and a streamlined kitchen-diner at a remodelled family home in rural Derbyshire

Room with a view - Glazing Vision brings light to Derbyshire home

Ceiling solutions manufacturer brings all its technical and product information together in one place making specification easier for designers

Ceiling solutions firm creates one-stop digital product guide

Sealoflex - in its Ultima, Endura and Prima variants - is perfect for new-builds and overlaying existing roofs. Its flexibility lends itself to complex geometries, penetrations and detailing

Sealoflex waterproofing for fast curing and durability up top

Cupa Pizarras slate replicates the original Highlands roofing at an 18th-century hostelry redevelopment

Cupa Pizarras slate replicates Highlands roofing material

Now BDP has finished its rapid transformation of London’s ExCel Centre into the Nightingale Hospital for coronavirus patients, Hugh Pearman updates our story and talks to Architects for Health chair Christopher Shaw about the NHS design guide underlying the new emergency wards

The what, where, how and why of Nightingale Hospitals round the UK