Architects are being invited to submit designs for a development of up to 30 new homes on a site near Northampton train station.
The homes will go on the site of the 1970s former office building Castle House in Marefair, which had been vacant for many years before its demolition last autumn.
A focus for the design brief will be for the provision of up to 30 homes, which Northamptonshire County Council says will “need to reflect the historic setting and incorporate high quality materials typical of the county”.
The dwellings will also have to be energy efficient and include the latest technologies with regard to environmental sustainability and next-generation living.
County Hall bosses expect that the project will act as a catalyst for further quality new design in the area.
It has invited a number of local, national and international architects to submit ideas and quotes for the project.
These will then be given public scrutiny before they are finally considered by an evaluation panel.
Councillor Jim Harker, leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “We’ve seen more positive change taking place in Northampton in the past few years than we’ve seen in a generation but there’s much more to be done.
“Historically this section of Northampton is a very important part of the town centre so it’s important that any new development respects the county’s heritage.
“However, we also need to keep an eye on the future so it’s important that the new buildings are fit for modern living and have sustainability in mind.
“This development will demonstrate that next-generation designs and technologies can exist within and complement the traditional. It will also act as a benchmark for subsequent development within the area.”