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Students praised for architecture designs on proposed £12m project

4th August 2014

Architecture students have been applauded for their work on a planned £12m project to develop a new education facility in Northumberland. 

The third-year students have been working on a project which helps bring to life Northumberland’s proposed National Landscape Discovery Centre. The students received the praise after displaying their project work based on an adapted version of the design brief for The Sill. The Sill is set to become a leading facility for training and education, helping to support the region’s young workforce.

Once fully operational, the centre could receive 100,000 visitors a year, creating huge potential to strengthen the local economy. The architecture project – run in conjunction with Northumberland National Park Authority (NNPA), YHA and Newcastle based architects Jane Darbyshire and David Kendall (JDDK) - saw the students visit a variety of locations around Northumberland National Park to understand the landscape context and to research its varying historical, cultural or geological aspects.

The students then exhibited their project designs at the BALTIC event, where guests were able to see the models up close and gain an insight into the work directly from the students. Graduating Northumbria Architecture student and NNPA Prize winner Matthew Glover said: “It was great to work on a live project in such a beautiful and historical location, with JDDK giving an insight to the approach they had taken for The Sill Project. It was a pleasure to be awarded the NNPA Prize.”

Among those commending the student’s efforts following the showcase was North East actor and presenter Robson Green. He also praised two local schools for their contributions to the day – The Duchess’s Community School in Alnwick and the Queen Elizabeth High School in Hexham.

“It is amazing to see The Sill engaging with young people in the region to help educate and develop their breadth of knowledge of the iconic landscapes that make Northumberland so special,” he said, “The sixth form pupils and university students should be very proud of what they have achieved. They fully deserved to be in the spotlight at this event which has showcased the talents of future generations.”

Tony Gates, Chief Executive of Northumberland National Park Authority, attended the event and was impressed by the quality of all the young people’s work.

He said: “I have to say a huge well done to all the young people who have worked alongside The Sill so far and who have contributed to making this celebration so special.

“It was brilliant to share the films created by pupils at The Duchess and Queen Elizabeth which perfectly capture the essence of what The Sill is about. Equally impressive was the design work of the Northumbria University architecture students. They really embraced the brief and immersed themselves in the site’s history and developed schemes that are closely linked to the heritage of the area.”

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