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Student visions for Gibside Hall to be revealed

16th June 2014

A gin distillery, a theatre and an observatory were among the unique proposals presented to the National Trust by Northumbria University’s Interior Architecture students in a bid to re-imagine the potential future of Gateshead’s Gibside Hall.

Twenty final year students pitched their ideas, designs and 3D models to the Gibside Hall estate manager and his team, the business support team and planning consultant.

With the overall aim of preserving the hall for future generations and providing public access, the live project saw a number of creative ideas put forward, with students drawing on everything from the hall’s rich history, to its varied wildlife and picturesque setting.

Focusing on the healing powers of pristine landscapes, student Natasha Kwok, outlined her proposal to transform Gibside Hall into a cancer rehabilitation and public hydrotherapy facility, a sanctuary from the hospital environment and hectic bustle of the city.

Natasha, who is from Edinburgh, said: “Britain is well known for its heritage, so it’s essential we learn how to preserve our historic buildings by incorporating them sensitively into the modern day landscape. Historical preservation is definitely something I would like to continue with post-degree and the skills I’ve acquired throughout this course have certainly equipped me to do just that.”

Gibside Hall estate manager Mick Wilkes said: “It’s been interesting to see all of the different approaches – the balance between the historic and modern has certainly been achieved by the students and everyone has captured the spirit of Gibside Hall in their own unique way.

“The students have presented some really innovative ideas and it has certainly given us food for thought in terms of what the hall’s future uses might be, so watch this space.”

Northumbria’s Interior Architecture course specialises in equipping students with the skills to re-use and adapt existing buildings, through working on realistic design projects to improve current built spaces.

Paul Ring, programme leader, added: “This is the first cohort of students from our Interior Architecture degree course, so it’s a milestone in more ways than one. Not only will the Gibside project form a considerable part of the student’s end of year portfolios, which they will display at Reveal, it will have also equipped them with invaluable experience – providing a springboard to a bright future in interior architecture.”

The project makes up a significant portion of the students’ final degree mark and will be on display to the public at this year’s annual Northumbria University graduate degree show, Reveal, which showcases the very best of its architecture, arts, design and media work.

The exhibit is open to the public from 19 – 27 June across the University’s City Campus, where prospective employers are also encouraged to pay a visit to scout for the next big things in industry. For more information, click here.

Architecture at Northumbria was recently ranked 6th in the UK in The Guardian League Tables 2015, 7th in the Sunday Times League Table and was in the UK Top 10 in the Complete University Guide 2015. Northumbria was the only UK university in the CUG 2015 to have Architecture, Building and Land and Property Management in the Top 10.

Anyone wanting to find out more about Interior Architecture at Northumbria University is invited to register for the University’s Open Days on 27 and 28 June by visiting: www.northumbria.ac.uk/openday

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