|Crispian Court - Adnitt Road, Rushden
The name of the building derives from that of St. Crispin, Patron Saint of Shoemakers, in recognition of Rushden's historical association with the shoemaking industry.
Originally a limestone quarry, the site had been backfilled and used as allotment gardens since the early part of this century. At the time of acquisition by the District Council in 1984 the allotment use had virtually ceased and the site contained numerous derelict lock-up garages.
With the completion of Crispian Court, the District Council now has fifteen sheltered housing schemes in its ownership.
Following research into earlier schemes, a brief was developed between the Council's Housing and Architect's departments early in 1984. It was decided that all flats in the development should have separate bedrooms, rather than a proportion of bed-sitting room units which had been a feature of earlier schemes, and that a lift should be included in the development to enable all floors to be accessible to less mobile residents.
The brief called for 24 one bedroom two person flats together with communal facilities and wardens accommodation.
The inclusion of a lift enabled the development to rise to three storeys which was felt to be a desirable maximum having regard to the surrounding residential area, and the need to achieve a domestic scale to the building. To reduce the apparent mass each part of the building is separately expressed and roofs are hipped to reduce the amount of overshadowing.
The decision to ensure natural light should be available to kitchens in all flats led to the construction of two identical blocks each containing twelve flats, linked by access stairways, these being semi-circular to enable light to spill round into the adjacent kitchen windows.
To achieve a pleasant domestic atmosphere and to reduce the level of airborne and impact noise within the building, circulation areas are fitted with suspended ceilings, which also conceal services, and are carpeted throughout.
Each floor is identified by the colour of handrails and door furniture.
All flats are self-contained and comprise living room, double bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and storage cupboards and kitchens are fitted with electric cookers.
A warden call system is installed in each flat and in common areas including the lift. This is connected to the "call care" system operated by Northampton Borough Council, and provides a 24 hour emergency service.
Communal areas include a community room with fully fitted kitchen, a general purpose room which allows for use by visiting chiropodist or hairdresser, a fitted laundry with both automatic and twin-tub machines, tumble and spin driers, toilets and a public telephone.