Hawkins Brown Win Consent for £26.1 Million Corby Hub

Hawkins Brown Win Consent for £26.1 Million Corby Hub

Hawkins Brown Corby Hub 01

Hawkins Brown won planning permission this week to build a £26.1 million civic hub in the centre of Corby.

The practice's competition winning scheme for a 21st century civic hub interlinking council administration, commercial facilities and cultural activities is part of a major regeneration project driven by North Northants Development Company (NNDC) which will completely reinvent the former steel town.

Planning consent was given to the first phase of the Parkland Gateway development, which comprises the Corby Hub by Hawkins\Brown and a new landmark 50m swimming pool designed by S&P Architects. Both buildings are set within a new town square and linked to the rest of the town by a treelined polychromatic paved walkway, the Corby Walk, designed by Grant Associates. By setting the building in the centre of the new town square, rather than to one side as suggested in Edaw's town centre masterplan, the Corby Hub will become a dynamic heart of the town.

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Maximising its central location, the Corby Hub is a building in the round with four 'live' elevations. The concept has been to contain a dynamic array of facilities within one simple form.

The Corby Hub is a pure glistening object with an elevation pattern of black and reflective glass, animated by a series of openings and 'open drawer' projected spaces.

Inside facilities include:
- A modern flexible 445-seat Theatre and Arts space, and additional studio space
- A modern well equipped Library
- A ground floor Cafe and Hair Salon
- A rooftop restaurant with views over Hazel Wood
- Corby Borough Council One-Stop-Shop and offices
- Council Chamber which will also provide a marriage room for civil ceremonies
- Terraced Roof Garden

All facilities have a ground floor presence and are inextricably linked, arranged around a spiralling ramp, which rises from the foyer through the building and culminates in a helical stair leading to the rooftop restaurant. The ramp, although predominantly providing space for the library, is used as a device to enable multiple facilities to be located on the perceived ground floor and provides the principal architectural promenade through the building.

The pure form of the building is completely unobstructed by service entrances, bin stores and plant (all of which are contained in an undercroft), and its highly reflective surface projects a strong image alluding to the reinvention of Corby. Inside references to the town as a former symbol of the Steel Age appear in many of the internal surfaces, which will be of varying steel finishes.

A series of components spiral around the exterior characterising each elevation; the North elevation is animated by the projected transparent glazed entrance foyer, the East elevation by display vitrines and window into the council chamber. A cantilevered reading room projects out of the first floor of the South Elevation and the West elevation features a cafe and hair salon at ground floor level.

Irregularly spaced apertures appear on the upper levels framing views into a planted terrace and providing views out to the historic woodlands beyond. The roof is treated as fifth elevation continuing the pattering of the façades with banding of sedum roof and brown roof.

To reduce its presence on the overall building the theatre is a walnut-clad casket submerged in the South East corner of the cube with the interior and form of the balconies influenced by Victorian playhouses. Designed in collaboration with theatre designers Charcoalblue it has a flexible flat floor auditorium with a curved retractable seating system, the first of its kind in the UK.

The building is naturally ventilated using exposed thermal mass for night-time cooling and aims to meet a BREEAM rating of Excellent.

Hawkins Brown: https://www.dexigner.com/directory/detail/7896

Hawkins Brown

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