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Shortlisted in RIBA competition for a sustainable building for businesses promoting innovative and sustainable technologies, in Daventry.

We wanted to instil a sense of informality between all the functions of the new building. To do this we propose making a single flat ‘landscape’ building. This would encourage an atmosphere of collaboration and communication within the building’s community.

Distinct ‘places’ within this open plan approach were formed, in a similar way that a memorable town is laid out. The 5 ‘cuts’ in the building are the courts and squares, each of which has a unique character and orientation. ‘Streets’ connect the courts, and the 'houses' (offices) define the 'streets'.

The communal areas cluster around the squares. The larger ‘gathering spaces’ such as the canteen, exhibition, meeting spaces need to be flexible, and are immersed into the street landscape. They can therefore, adapt and extend as necessary.

Within this, small and intimate spaces occur which are less defined and encourage relaxed conversation. These are a subtle version of ‘break-out spaces’.

This building also connects back to the landscape surrounding the site by framing and connecting to particular views.

The open courts are heavily planted with trees, allowing large areas of the groundscape to be naturally lit from above. These ‘groves’ would shade the offices in summer and allow the low sunlight through in winter. Their significant use however is for the comfort of the people in the building. At every point within the building you would be close to trees.

The language of the tower is combination of an advertising hoarding and a pylon. The principle is to establish a source of passive energy for the building and make a clear sign of the underlying function of the iHub.

iHub Business Community, Daventry

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