Like Mendelsohn, Charles Rennie Mackintosh is an inspirational figure for McAslan. Despite its tiny scale, the adaptation (begun in 1915) of an existing Victorian terraced house in Northampton for the engineer W J Bassett-Lowke was the most significant project of his 'London years', boldly geometric in design and anticipating Modernism some decades hence. Bassett-Lowke was later the client for Peter Behrens's 'New Ways', sometimes claimed as the first truly modern house in the uk. At Derngate, Mackintosh worked within the framework of an existing domestic structure. The most striking external expression of his involvement is seen in the austere rear elevation, visible only from the garden and perhaps influenced by the work of Adolf Loos. The project is to provide a museum and education facility centred within the adjacent number 82 Derngate (a listed Regency structure) with number 80 carved out to provide a circulatory hub linking all three properties. The key intervention involves the demolition of a later extension to number 82 and its replacement by a lightweight and transparent entrance enclosure that itself relates to a vaulted workshop building set in a re-landscaped garden. Here there is no attempt at sub- Mackintosh detailing, but rather a bold new approach that respects history without attempting to replicate it.
Client: 78 Derngate
Architect: John McAslan & Partners: Adam Brown, Martin Harris, John McAslan, Ryan von Ruben, Pat West
Structural engineer: Jampel, Davison & Bell
mep engineer: Rybka Battle
Quantity surveyor: Boyden & Company
Museum design: Ralph Appelbaum Associates