Our student panel on the sustainable and sexy building in Daventry

iCon by Consarc

iCon by Consarc

This is the iCon in Daventry, Northamptonshire, shortlisted for the Building Awards 2012. This highly sustainable building is designed by architect Consarc for client University of Northampton and has a remarkably low carbon footprint of just 12.2kg CO2/m2 per year. Yet despite its eco-credinetials, iCon is confidently designed - even a little sexy.

Adrian Cohen’s verdict

The iCon building in Northamptonshire is a structure where the main objective is to create sustainable and green architecture. Although function and reducing carbon footprint is the main push in this design, its timber structure, including the curved front façade and interior atrium, brings together quite an impressive building with much architectural character.

This curved front façade hints towards playfulness about the building where it seeks to care for the environment, Cohen

This curved front façade hints towards playfulness about the building where it seeks to care for the environment. The atrium also provides a well-ventilated beautifully lit interior space. This is perfect for allowing a calm business environment and bringing one back to nature. In conclusion, I believe that the building is an excellent organic piece that sits perfectly in the natural environment.

James Fairweather’s verdict

The iCon building is heralded as an environmental marvel with an astoundingly low carbon footprint for a building of its size. The structure is defined by a curved timber exterior emblazoned with the buildings name, the traditional conservative approach to design that accompanies environmental buildings is shaken off with the combined use of angular and fluid exterior elements.

Large expanses of glass allow light to flood the interior spaces creating a natural feel behind the organic timber exterior, however the artificial green glow that illuminates the facade at night detracts from the rest of the buildings architectural character.

Adrian Cohen and James Fairweather are studying architecture at Nottingham Trent University.