One Angel Square: Placemaking with powder coating colors in Northampton’s historical core ― 


Designed by BDP, a global collective of placemaking experts, One Angel Square is a new office building in Northampton which regenerates its historically important quarter of the town, whilst respecting the scale and grain of its neighbors and preserving cherished longer views across the town’s skyline.

A new public space, Angel Square, creates an appropriate setting for the building entrance and forms part of a potential new sequence of public spaces linking All Saints Church to St John’s Church and its gardens. From the entrance staff and visitors arrive at a 4-storey reception and street which leads to a courtyard in the center of the plan. Stairs and lifts are located on either side and informal meeting, working and other collaborative spaces are grouped around it creating a social hub for the building.

The building is designed as two blocks which enclose the courtyard. A second street extends to the south, filling the building with natural light and creating a visual connection with St John’s Church. The change in level across the site is taken up by an undercroft area which accommodates car parking, cycle storage, and on the St John Street façade, office space which could potentially convert to retail use. The natural light, visual connectivity between the floors and courtyard help to create a building that allows both staff and visitors to experience a sense of wellbeing and encourage collaboration.

One of the most striking features of the building is its façade, establishing a conversation with the look and feel of its historical urban environment, abundant in aged red bricks and brown clay roof tiles. The predominantly glazed facades comprise two layers: the inner façade system is colored in golden-brown, aged bronze shades, rendered in Anodic Bronze (Y2214F), Bronze (YW283F), and Steel Bronze (Y2217F) Interpon D2525 superdurable powder coatings by AkzoNobel. The outer layer is more sculptural, with copper-hued vertical fins coated in Ordos Sable (YW387I), Patah (YW267I), and Mars Sable (YX355F), and protracting grids in the same bronze shades as the inner layer. These fins control solar gain, create a color and texture when viewed from acute angles down the narrow streets, and connect the building to the distinctive urban fabric of the area. The patterning of the louvers is inspired by the local traditional leather cutting lines for hand-made shoes, and the colors emulate the rich, reddish hues of aged brick. Best practice passive design strategies combined with innovative approaches have delivered exemplary levels of user comfort and wellbeing, whilst reducing operational energy costs and carbon emissions.

Color and texture are essential components in urban placemaking: Placemaking means creating places and focuses on transforming public spaces to strengthen the connections between people and these places. Placemaking is a process centered on people and their needs, aspirations, desires, and visions, which relies strongly on community participation. By introducing a new, sustainable office building amidst the historical core, BDB highlighted visual connections and materiality, as essential components of the local urban identity.

Bronze effect Interpon D2525 powder coatings at One Angel:

Anodic Bronze (Y2214F)

Bronze (YW283F)

Steel Bronze (Y2217F)


Copper and oxidized steel effect Interpon D2525 powder coatings at One Angel:

Ordos Sable (YW387I)

Patah (YW267I)

Mars Sable (YX355F)