The culture of Doc Martens combines traditional techniques and materials with contemporary style. That was the ethos the company wanted to evoke when they commissioned Haworth Tompkins to design their new factory and offices in a mixture of new and altered buildings on the edge of the small Northamptonshire village where the company began. The buildings form part of a comprehensive redevelopment of the company headquarters. The brief was to provide a state of the art working environment, while the company also wanted to respond to the scale the village, and the iron-rich sandstone and Welsh slate that dominate the local vernacular.
“The practice has built an excellent small rural shoe factory for Dr. Martens at Wollaston in Northamptonshire - an object lesson in how to integrate employment with the countryside.”
Hugh Pearman, Sunday Times
A masterplan was developed to rationalise the existing site. This proposed substantial relandscaping, the refurbishment of various existing structures identified the location for the new factory building and offices. Construction had to take place in phases to allow the headquarters to remain operational throughout the redevelopment period.
The new buildings were visualised as contemporary barns, accommodating the operational requirements of a factory and office building in objects which would belong to their landscape and which would mature with age and use. The project includes a collaboration with Turner Prize winning artist Grenville Davey which resulted in a pair of specially commissioned sculptures for the project.
Cobbs Lane Office & Production Unit
Address: Wollaston, Northampton
Completion Date: December 1994
Construction Cost: £4.5M
Client: R. Griggs & Co Ltd
Project Manager: Sursham Tompkins & Partners
Structural Engineer: Price and Myers LLP
Services Engineer: Rolton Building Services
Quantity Surveyor: Tompkins Robinson & Partners
Civic Trust Award
RIBA Regional Award
Structural Steel Award