200-year-old penitentiary reimagined beyond belief
This was an unusual project for us and we were delighted to be able to demonstrate our creativity.
The nature of the space was the biggest challenge. The Grade II listed prison, built in 1820, is protected by English Heritage – so we were careful to maintain as many of the original features as possible, weaving in historical elements throughout the space.
We were also keen to ensure the workspace told the story of the building’s unique history while also incorporating the modern design elements the client was looking for.
We highlighted the existing industrial feel with concrete flooring and exposed brickwork, beams and conduit lighting.
The former cells have been reimagined and are now light, inviting office spaces. While booths and break out areas are now incorporated into the former prison’s corridors. There are core collaboration areas in the central corridor sections and we’ve even retained the original bars on the windows in the communal areas.
Agile spaces for agile businesses
The new space aimed to foster creativity and innovation for local businesses. As such, it was critical we created a working environment that was agile, collaborative and inspiring.
Drawing upon previous experience, we produced designs that transformed the prison into agile working spaces. The mix included a reception area, meeting rooms, office spaces, breakout spaces and flexible collaboration areas. The more informal, comfortable areas all facilitate collaboration, sociability and productivity.
The colour scheme remained in-keeping with the building’s industrial background and included Pantone’s 2021 Colours of the Year: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating. When paired with the contrasting black, white and the mix of textures, this creates an energetic and inspiring environment, perfect for young start-ups and freelancers.
Delivering social value
The prison buildings had been derelict since 2013. Helping to deliver social value and support the local community through the regeneration of the site was a key focal point of the design. While attracting new talent to Northallerton was also an essential part of our process.
Treadmills is a unique office space. Its positive energy makes people want to return and encourages them to feel motivated. This has helped attract and retain new businesses and freelancers in the area.
It’s been a gamechanger for the agritech industry. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the region.