Ramsden House, Huddersfield

Sustainable development of vacant office building brings ‘hope and ambition’ to Huddersfield town centre

The eight-storey Ramsden House development includes 45 studio apartments, study areas and a lounge, as well as a gym, hot food takeaway, coffee shop and sports store. But it’s not what the what the planners originally wanted.

Concerned at the decline of the town centre (a UK-wide problem), the local council were initially reluctant to lose more prime retail space. However, Box Architects argued for an alternative approach to urban regeneration in an area of low demand and historically poor rental return.

Working with council planners, we looked at ways to bring more people into the town centre. And with Ramsden House being close to the University of Huddersfield, converting six floors of offices to student accommodation was an obvious solution.

Box Architects CEO Graham Place said: “This was an opportunity to provide genuine town centre regeneration by bringing people into the area. With the introduction of a gym and appropriate retail outlets as well as the student apartments, we’re helping to restore 24/7 activity to the area.

“The high street is changing in the UK, and this is a great example of the hope and ambition that can be achieved when architects, developers and planners work together.”

Principally an intelligent development of refurbishment and reimagination, the plans make use of existing resources within the office block. Where possible, all new materials and elements (for example, internal partitions, doors and ceilings) will be sourced from responsible suppliers with A/A+ environmental certification.

The design will also aim to implement a number of energy-efficient and sustainable measures to enhance the overall environmental performance of the refurbished building.

  • Residential and commercial development fuels town centre regeneration
  • Intelligent refurbishment of empty office block
  • Sustainability objectives supported by reusing existing resources

“This was an opportunity to provide genuine town centre regeneration by bringing people into the area.”

Graham Place, CEO, Box Architects