Unusual Rigging HQ Northampton, UK


Unusual Industries Ltd




Offices, Industrial & Manufacturing, Interior Design

Unusual HQ is a new headquarters office project for a rigging company located in Bugbrooke, Northamptonshire. It is situated on a wider 4-acre industrial site, which will enable the expansion of the company’s operations by freeing up the warehouse currently housing the office.

The building is an exemplar test-bed project for circular economy principles and low-carbon design. At its core is the circular economy, an approach to building that departs from the linear economy of take, make, use, and dispose, and instead looks to create a building that is constructed from sustainable materials and can be dismantled and reused at the end of its hopefully long life.

‘True cost’ has been considered in every design decision; that is not only the market price, but the hidden cost required to repair the social and environmental damage caused along the supply chain.

UHQ_Aerial_2-column-body Exterior-Cam-05._web

The building features a glulam and timber frame, with natural biogenic building materials used throughout its construction. The proposed design includes on-site rainwater attenuation within the biodiverse landscape proposal and pond, further reducing the building’s environmental impact.

Renewable energy is provided via rooftop photovoltaics and a ground source heat pump, contributing to the building achieving EPC A+ rating, meaning it produces more energy than it consumes.


The building consists of two functional rectangular wings over two storeys, linked by a central double-height atrium space with a feature staircase. This central space frames the new landscaped courtyard and entrance, providing a welcoming and visually striking experience for employees and their guests.

High levels of energy efficiency have been achieved by specifying the building fabric to Passive House standards, whilst at the same time minimising embodied carbon.


Corstorphine & Wright were also appointed for the interior design and fit-out of the building. Interior design is significant when it comes to circular design, as the contents and internal finishes of a building typically have the shortest lifespan and therefore the potential to be most wasteful. All materials and products were closely interrogated for their embodied carbon and re-use/recycling potential, specifying Cradle to Cradle certified products and using reversible fixing methods where possible.

The internal layout of the building offers a combination of open-plan offices, private meeting rooms, and communal breakout and canteen spaces. The design of the office has been thoughtfully planned, with a focus on providing an efficient and comfortable workspace for employees, while also allowing for flexibility and adaptability.

Biophilic design principles have been adopted throughout the building via carefully designed natural planting and organic forms, boosting the physical and mental well-being of its users.


Designing for the Circular Economy

“We are on our way to realising a very low embedded carbon build that operationally, will contribute a huge amount to our strategy as a business to be net zero by 2030. Jonny, Henry and the rest of the C&W team have a rare quality of courteously challenging and enquiring whether there is further scope to be explored in realising a ‘circular‘ vision. They have presented us with alternative materials (such as Breathaboard over plasterboard), which align with the ideas of regeneration by design and durable designing for eventual ease of disassembly.”


What a pleasure it has been to have Corstorphine & Wright undertake the design of Unusual’s new HQ and research building. From the start, they embraced our vision of building a new office in accordance with the key principles of the circular economy, in many instances really challenging conventional assumptions about the structural materials used. It has been an inspiring journey to have equally passionate advocates for creating a ‘circular build’, at times making for strained meetings with some of the key stakeholders as they persistently presented more ecological options, over easy to source, tried, tested and less sustainable ones.

As a client, I couldn’t recommend the whole team from architects to interior designers at C&W more. At a time of global ecological crises, there are few organisations out there who seem to be demonstrating ‘active hope’, who are showing that an economy that is truly regenerative and restorative by design is a possibility. The C&W team are just such an organisation.

Tom Harper​​​​, Managing Director

Unusual Rigging HQ

Every project starts with a conversation.
Let’s discuss your opportunities, constraints and questions.

Contact Us

Did you mean?

Sorry, we couldn't find any results matching your search term.
Please try searching for something else.

Our Latest News and Insights

View All Latest News


10 results

View All Projects

Our People

10 results

Meet Our Team

Our People

Meet Our Team

News and Insights

3 results

Our Studios

View All Our Studios