Working for Cambridgeshire County Council, the Huntingdon Town Centre development took place over four acres across the heart of the town, close to the bus station, with main roads running parallel with the site and bounded by several Grade II Listed buildings. Careful planning was required to ensure minimal disruption to surrounding buildings and members of the public and close consultation with the Council and neighbouring properties.
Prior to the works starting on site, enabling works were carried out and included the demolition of existing buildings (some of which contained asbestos), diversion/alteration and removal of existing services, alterations to existing drainage, the removal of existing trees and tree protection. All works were covered under planning consent and a full archaeological survey was carried out, again under planning consent.
The development comprised two distinct phases:
Phase 1 - COMBINED JUSTICE CENTRE & COUNTY COUNCIL OFFICES
Cambridgeshire County Council Offices: The 27,000ft2 sustainable, energy efficient four storey office building comprising basement parking, main reception, staff rooms, open plan offices, interview rooms, kitchenettes, server/communication rooms, communal stairs, corridors and toilets. The passively cooled and naturally ventilated building achieved a BREEAM Very Good rating. The general construction arrangement of the building is a solid concrete floor/frame offering exposed concrete soffit and structural members to facilitate the thermal mass/natural ventilated solution. Externally the building comprises; cavity wall construction of facing brickwork and block-work inner skin, and aluminium windows and curtain walling.
Combined Justice Centre: This 45,000ft2 building was located on a restricted town centre site that required enabling works comprising demolition, archaeological works and extensive contamination remediation works. The building is innovative in that it is the first completed court project in the UK to combine Civil, Criminal and Magistrate courts under one roof and was constructed over a shared basement car park in tandem with new offices for Cambridgeshire County Council, also constructed by Clegg. The basement car park was constructed below the water table, and is therefore waterproof and was built to blast proof specifications. The six storey development comprised a custody suite with 9 cells and van dock, a county court, two crown courts, two magistrates courts, custody docks, court galleries, security office, secure entrance area, interview rooms, office administration areas, general public areas and water proof basement construction below water table with blast proof specifications.
Phase 2 - LIBRARY, archive store, REGISTER OFFICE & APARTMENTS
Library and Archive Centre; the bespoke 20,000ft² building houses all of Huntingdon's historical resources in a purpose-built secure storage room with temperature and humidity level controls. The location of all documents is managed through a computer-controlled barcode database, the first such system in the UK. The library houses a learning centre, community activity rooms and cafe as well as book stores and computer rooms. We also undertook the refurbishment and extension of a Grade II Listed building to provide new Registrar and Coroner accommodation.
The Walks Residential Apartments; the 110 apartments are grouped around a landscaped courtyard with secure access via an entrance lobby. The apartments are split across three blocks, with associated external works and landscaping. The apartments were fitted out to a high specification including stylish modern kitchens and sanitary ware, limestone tiling to bathrooms and timber laminate flooring.