A genuine second act
Giving listed buildings and other existing buildings a genuine second act is extremely rewarding. Not only is it a way of celebrating the history of the site but it also adds to the sense of place, balances the new with the old and reduces our carbon footprint. For example, the Houlton School reuses and reinvigorates the listed C-Station building, the listed Second World War watch tower at Alconbury provides a characterful location for Bohemia’s new café and the gym, squash court and rifle range at Waterbeach provide ready made community facilities. Where physical buildings are not present then history can be reflected in landscape such as Runway Park at Alconbury or the parkland area over the Roman remains at Priors Hall. Signage, road names, educational packs for schools and residents alongside digital resources all provide further historical context for our growing communities not to mention the history buffs in our team.
One of the joys of working with historic buildings is the strong sense of place that their distinctiveness can bring. Urban&Civic’s determination to transform the former C Station transmitter building into Houlton School exemplifies this – creating an exceptional school and preserving the distinctive heritage of the Rugby Radio Station at the heart of the community.
JAMES McCOSH –
PARTNER AT VAN HEYNINGEN AND HAWARD ARCHITECTS