The site for the Northampton Criminal Justice Centre was located near prestigious office buildings within a business park context. The design approach presented a number of challenges both as a result of the tightness of the site and its setting. NORR’s design solution was to incorporate a quality office aesthetic, backed up with a robust public consultation strategy to alleviate public concern.
The facilities had to be highly resilient, for day-to-day use and for future provision as the county was predicted to significantly grow in numbers over the next 20 years. It was also the replacement structure to consolidate activity from six existing prisons, some over a century old. NORR developed a highly efficient custody suite designed using flow analysis and mapping existing custody records to ensure optimum flows and throughput of detainees. An office space was incorporated, linked by a common vertical core to be used by the Crown Prosecution Service and investigative police departments, bringing them closer to the detainees and delivering real efficiency savings. The resulting three-story landmark building has an open, friendly facade that fits right in with its business park locale without displaying any overt security features. Natural light pours through numerous large windows and skylights and bright optimistic colors improve morale in the interior. NORR succeeded in achieving the rigorous security standards, operational requirements and energy efficiencies that were primary objectives for the Northampton Criminal Justice Centre.
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