Newcastle University Building Sciences Extension

Confined site, Double height workshop, 3 storey studio block, Dedicated Crit and exhibition spaces, specialist model making/woodwork machinery + Computer Aided equipment, sedum roofs, modern yet sympathetic to surroundings, exposed internal structure, honest, robust and durable.

The Building Science Lab Extension was completed March 2017 offering state of the art facilities including a double workshop, studios, exhibition spaces and double height crit room further enhancing Newcastle University as being one of the largest and most dynamic schools of architecture of its kind in Europe.

The new extension was based on a concept design developed by Design Office – a design consultancy based within the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. PH Partnership progressed the initial sketch concept into a full Building Information Model (BIM) developed from the outset which was utilised to accurately demonstrate and detail designs with the Design Team and client throughout. Close liaison with the Local Planning Authority and further use of the 3D model assisted with the approval of the materiality selections concluding with a modern contrasting zinc clad façade on upper levels whilst providing a more sympathetic fusion of brickwork to the ground level which sensitively anchors the building to the neighbouring buildings and immediate context.

Realisation of the interior spaces was closely developed to clients preferences to promote honesty of structure, durability and robustness which resulted in a high proportion of exposed structure and surfaces throughout. This solution also serves a purpose providing a first-hand learning device to the Architecture students.

PH Partnership assisted with the promotion and realisation of delivering Sedum roofs and Photovoltaics’ to further enhance Newcastle Universities ethos to deliver highly sustainable buildings. The careful positioning and design of the green roofs look to offer major aesthetic benefits to the upper studio spaces and surrounding buildings providing a rare glimpse of greenery within a confined and built up area of the campus.

PH Partnership was appointed as Lead Consultant to complete the project and manage the appointed consultant team through the design process to implementation on site and final commissioning of the new facility. Dedication and meticulous coordination throughout with the Design Team, client and contractor (Robertson’s Construction) were paramount to the delivery of a successful project on a challenging and constrained site with vast amounts of specialist equipment and associated services.

PH Partnership Architects were awarded a Highly Commended Excellence Consultants Award by Newcastle University as a testament to the dedication and high level of service provided. Further to the exemplary BIM service provider PH Partnership has been appointed to work together with Newcastle’s Facilities Management department to develop the implementation of CoBIE information derived directly from the BIM model to ensure successful coordination with Newcastle Universities in-house maintenance software. This approach signifies PH Partnership’s belief that powerful Building Information Modelling should not only act as an intrinsic tool for the construction but also for the future maintenance of the lifespan of the building.

Phase 1 – Main Extension, completed March 2017
Phase 2 – Refurbishment of Former Workshop into teaching spaces completed May 2017
Value £2.5m
880sqm area from 370sqm site