Pitchforks & PC's
Huge retail development aside, I have the perception of East Northants as being very picturesque and rural which some may consider is not fertile ground for the contemporary architect…
We are lucky enough to work all over the county, but we haven’t spent much time in East Northants of late which is a shame because I think the area is great and I spent much of my early career altering and adding to the local building stock.
Huge retail development aside, I have the perception of East Northants as being very picturesque and rural which some may consider is not fertile ground for the contemporary architect. I do however see plenty of opportunity for exciting phoenix schemes where beautiful contemporary buildings can be created using the rich-in-character, but underused or dilapidated structures, that are plentiful throughout East Northants.
Obviously conversions have already taken place within the area and I am sure many more are planned, but there is still plenty of untapped opportunity to be explored and often through structures that are not instantly thought of as reusable. I cast my mind back to an editorial I wrote about setting up offices within a rural area and how great it is to not have to commute through town. Looking at the big changes afoot in East Northants, I cannot help but think that the new shopping centre at Rushden Lakes, with all of its easy-to-get to meeting points, is an open invitation to create more great rural working spaces for small businesses to utilise and grow from.
Permitted development allows for many unused rural structures to be changed in use to other commercial uses and the structures don’t have to be old stone barns, they could be metal or concrete ones of a certain age and could therefore create an additional income to farmsteads that are worried about the Brexit security of funding within their industry.
It is amazing what is possible when you open your eyes to the concept of building recycling and working with an architect is all about making the most of these opportunities. So if there is a rural structure that you know is going to waste, clear out the old pitchforks and see if you can kit the area out for PCs instead. If you can do that in an exciting and imaginative way, you could create a very
stable revenue stream to help bring certainty in what may be worrying times.