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In Search of a Project Space – Saint Crispins Asylum

I have recently been on another search for a building and space to use for my final major project at University. These are my photographs from the 28th of June. I have waited a couple of weeks to post them as I wanted to think about my thoughts behind why I would like to use them so I could show everyone.

This is Saint Crispins Asylum in Northampton. I looked this up on the internet before making a visit there. The images online inspired me to go and have a better look as the building is of a good size and fits with my idea for what I would like to do. In fact I have a couple of ideas that it would work for, but will require some further thought.

Unfortunately it proved difficult to get great photographs due to a very large wooden barrier surrounding the perimeter. However, there were a few holes for me to put my camera lens through and I got a few from a distance.

What I like about the building…

  • I really like the design of the building as it is not too modern.
  • There are multiple buildings of different sizes and heights.
  • There is a lot of space to work with.
  • The site has a feature which is the tower.
  • The building itself is impressive which is very important to me for the purposes of the project.
  • The building has history and what would likely have been an unpleasant place for visitors when it was an asylum could be turned into something the complete opposite.
  • There is the option to add more buildings or an extension to the site.
  • The site is in a good location suitable for the proposed purpose.

At the moment this is my favourite building, but there are others that I like, so at this stage I need to keep an open mind as to which one I will use and have a number of uses for the building in mind. Also I will be making additional visits to Northampton to find a building. Also, I am not sure that I will be able to use this building as it is outside of the specified area of Northampton selected by the University.

So… What would I like to use the building for?

My first idea is for a luxury hotel that possibly includes a spa, restaurants and retail areas. I like the idea of transforming the space into the opposite of its original purpose. I would use luxurious materials, however I would also like to consider sustainability where possible. This is my preferred choice at the moment.

My second idea is for a space that improves well being and healthy living that could consist of relaxation spaces, leisure activities, group activities, restaurants that inspire healthy eating and maybe a spa area. I would like to consider sustainability throughout. I like the idea of transforming the space into a positive experience rather than the implied negative experience of an “asylum”.

My third idea is by far my favourite, for a creative business and hospitality hub / centre that has a creative workplace, hospitality and leisure facilities such as retail, overnight accommodation, restaurants, bars and a gym. This building would provide enough space to do this on quite a large scale, however it is not in the town centre, so I need to consider whether this building would be appropriate.

My general ideas are applicable regardless of whether I end up using this building. I love this building and at the moment, this for me is almost where my ideas work best and it is big enough to include all that I want to.

The tricky part would be how do I get inside…

A) I will need to contact the council for plans of the buildings and find out if I could get inside.

B) I could contact the contractors who are going to be developing the site to find out if I could get inside.

C) I would need to find out if the building is structurally safe to go inside.

The above image suggests that due to development plans, I may be able to get additional information.

I will be adding posts over the next few weeks with a different building that I am considering for interior design in my final major project and why. Please keep a look out and feel free to comment on which one you like best.

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