DCa worked with Crest Nicholson to design a sustainable urban settlement in Upton on the edge of Northampton. Our aim was to create a comfortable urban environment to which people could respond positively and creatively, to live as a community with a sense of safety and belonging.
Upton sets out to build on the traditional English town and village forms we all enjoy and to address contemporary ideas and challenges relating to security, transport and sustainability.
The opportunity to create new expressions in the facades of buildings came, in part, from the incorporation of passive and sustainable energy systems. The inclusion of photovoltaics, solar heating, green roofs, solar shading and passive stack ventilation was a challenge and an opportunity. The architecture draws inspiration from the rich urban tapestry of Northampton which grew rapidly in the 19th and early 20th centuries as the centre of boot and shoe manufacturing in the United Kingdom. Our objective was been to create excellent urban architecture based on buildings which play an appropriate role in the street, square, lane, mews or court. The opportunity we have responded to has been to create an urban context which is contemporary in its response to social, technological and environmental challenges in a robust and elegant way.