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News Archive

New Classical Building Completed in Northampton, UK

Commissioned by St Andrew’s Healthcare, William Wake House is a newly completed 20,000 plus square metre hospital in Northamptonshire. It is probably the largest single building in the classical style to be built in the UK for 50 years. The new residential, mental-health facility was designed by well-known classical architect and INTBAU Chair Robert Adam of ADAM Architecture, working closely with health-building experts, Oxford Architects.
                                               Front elevation of William Wake House

The following description of the project is by Peter Kellow, Communications Secretary for the Traditional Architecture Group (TAG).

This is the first phase of the Cliftonville site development providing a modern purpose-built healthcare building based on the existing hospital campus.  It has been designed with courtyards and internal spaces, and provides facilities which aid treatment and rehabilitation while offering an appropriate level of safety and security within the building design. Robert Adam, director at ADAM Architecture designed the outer form and façade of the building in keeping with the original hospital buildings, designed by George Wallet in 1835. Adam coordinated his architectural designs within the over-all planning, functional and technical work of Oxford Architects.

The completed building is an example of how different architectural expertise can be successfully coordinated to provide a unique and highly functional design. The 170 metre long principal elevations are broken up into a series of individual pavilions reflecting the organisation of the internal plan.  The external walls are in stucco and stone with a slate roof. Interior courtyards are designed with simplified classical detailing in two colours of brick. The windows are metal to provide a high level of security. The public entrance has a powerful stone façade featuring a large rusticated semi-circular window. The user’s entrance has an unusual tall glazed portico that looks out over the town from an elevated position. Robert Adam says, “This is an example of enlightened patronage and a successful working partnership that brought together our expertise in classical design with the specialist expertise of Oxford Architects. The building shows how modern classical design is not limited to private houses or historic settings but can provide high-quality free-standing public and institutional buildings.”

Matthew Balaam of Oxford Architects says, “Almost four years of extremely hard work from all members of the design team and close liaison with St Andrew’s Healthcare has led to a fantastic scheme. William Wake House now sits as a striking landmark within Northampton. The same level of detail placed on the external façade has been applied internally to provide St Andrew’s Healthcare with a facility to be proud of.” Rachael Harrison, William Wake House Hospital Director, said: “With state-of-the-art technology and visionary construction, William Wake House provides the very best in therapeutic environments. The extensive range of facilities available within the hospital supports our clinical treatment programmes and helps us to deliver highly specialised services for people with complex needs.”