"A Flash of Brilliance"

The new county hall will be a glittering pyramid clad in a variety of mirrored reflecting and transparent glass, sited on a ridge between Northampton and the Ml Motorway. It is the winner of a two stage competition and a brilliant work of architecture, which will give local people a fine new landmark. It is, after all, nonsense to try and hide or camouflage buildings in the countryside because the net result is to produce suburbia.

The character of the building as a free standing structure is absolutely right once the brief for an out-of-town hall is accepted. There is an argument for the county hall being within the city of Northampton, but the county council decided it wanted it out in the country. The new county hall will stand alone, like Stonehenge for example. Such a man-made mark of grandeur and integrity in the countryside is not only acceptable, but also a splendid thing, to be admired in approach, to be enjoyed in proximity. All the tests show it will be a good object in the landscape.

Car parks are wastelands. No one really succeeded in hiding or disguising them; even at the Beaulieu Motor Museum it seems a pity that a wood should be filled with cars. Therefore the raised spiral mound on which council staff will park their cars is a superbly arrogant idea which has every chance of coming off.

From Design Magazine, January 1974
By Corin Hughes Stanton