© Valerie Bennett
© Valerie Bennett
© Valerie Bennett
© Valerie Bennett
© Valerie Bennett
© Hawkins Brown

Corby Cube

Highly commended both in its design and construction, the iconic Corby Cube, designed by Hawkins \ Brown, takes precedence in the centre of this small Northamptonshire town. Providing a new focal point for the residents, it harks back to the industry once at the core of its community.

Corby Borough Council’s aim is to draw citizens into a central hub and encourage participation in democratic and public activities. It provides a number of key governmental amenities such as a new registry office, council chambers and One Stop Shop alongside cultural facilities and a state-of-the art theatre.

Circulation and usable spaces are often combined in this innovative design, the most obvious example being a vast ramp that spans the full depth of one side of the building, incorporating an open plan public library.

The need to combine multiple usages into a cube-shaped space added complexity to a basic 7.5 m square grid when the grids for different areas were overlaid. This led us to design a predominantly concrete frame with steel elements used as transfer beams. Areas such as the theatre needed long spans and utilised transfer structures such as deep Fabsec beams, while others were able to be done using cellular methods. A cantilevered reading room has been designed as an extension of the library, comprising a steel structure post-fixed to the main RC frame.

To enable the building to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’, our structural design needed to allow for passive stack ventilation throughout (with the exception of the mechanically ventilated theatre). We maximised thermal mass to achieve this and specified exposed concrete elements wherever possible, giving the building a robust feel.

The roof area also includes provision for a roof garden and bistro, with open terrace spaces offering views of the surrounding area.

Landmark hub for Corby Council, combining a number of public and cultural functions

Northamptonshire, UK
Corby Borough Council
Hawkins \ Brown
£ 26 million
  • 2012 Civic Trust Awards – Commendation
  • 2011 Concrete Society Awards – Commendation
  • 2011 BCI Awards – Shortlisted