This project is a new mixed use development including housing, retail and commercial office space located on the south side of Newcastle, surrounded with historic structures and routes which lead down to a high escarpment with views south across the Tyne Valley. The proposal seeks to strengthen and develop this urban grain and uses the form of these structures to create a series of new complimentary linear buildings, routes and gathering places that connect it to the city and landscape beyond. It also exploits the views out from the site, capitalising on the southerly aspect to maximise sunlight coming into the site.
The linear form emphasises the importance of the escarpment. The open ends mark the escarpment edge, while three new proposed blocks punctuate the escarpment rhythmically and mediate between the northern and southern edges of the site. The east and west blocks define the edge of the Stephenson Quarter development. All residential blocks are associated with raised, communal residential courts, which sit above resident’s parking, and are relieved by open views to the south across the valley, with routes designed to encourage use and occupation of all parts of the quarter.
A simple, robust form is proposed, with ‘cut outs’ at key locations exploiting views and orientation. Good quality purple / red brick is proposed for the main body of the buildings with simple, generous openings for windows and balconies. A base course of concrete panels and timber cladding emphasises entrance thresholds, public and private spaces.