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Gibside’s Walled Garden to host Northumbria University students’ artwork

21st April 2016

A new exhibition at the National Trust’s Gibside in Tyne and Wear will showcase a range of illustrations created by Northumbria University interior architecture students.

‘Reimagined: Seeds for an Idea’ opens on Friday 22 April until Monday 6 June where visitors to Gibside’s Walled Garden will be able to view panels displaying illustration proposals created by 17 second year Northumbria University students.

Gibside Leo Tsouramanis _ Gibside Pavilion - To EmbedThe students’ work will be in the Walled Garden and will include project background to design, concept, inspiration and drawings. There will also be a select few illustrations shown as small models in Perspex boxes.

Each student was challenged to create imaginative ideas for within Gibside’s Walled Garden. To help and inspire them with the task at hand, the students enjoyed site visits to Gibside, conversations with National Trust staff about the environmental concerns of this Grade 1 listed site, design development and learning about the history of this Georgian estate.

Peter Dixon, Senior Lecturer in Northumbria’s Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, Northumbria University, said, “The opportunity for the students to work within such a beautiful setting for an organisation such as The National Trust is a real privilege. 

“The Seeds of an Idea project has offered 'real life scenarios' for the students to tackle and consider within their design proposals, such as pragmatic issues to resolve as its in a public place and social agendas to consider to ensure their designs are accessible to all. For students to be able to respond to such things can be difficult to replicate in a studio/classroom environment - with the National Trust acting as a real client with real demands offers an invaluable experience towards the students learning. In addition, it offers the National Trust an engaging way to resolve their brief. 

Gibside Joseph Spour _ Gibside Giraffes - To Embed“The exhibition opening on 21 April offers a window for the public to see and appreciate the process that the students have been under taking. It also marks the start of a further consultation between the two in realising one of the students’ ideas for the garden.”

The partnership between Gibside and Northumbria University allowed the students to create designs for ‘real’ clients whilst meeting the needs of their course as well as the opportunity to see their work on display at a popular visitor attraction.

‘Reimagined: Seeds for an Idea’ and the designs created form part of Gibside’s Walled Garden: Redesign Renew Revive project, a Heritage Lottery funded initiative that aims to encourage new ways of seeing and learning about the history of Gibside estate.

Deborah Hunter-Knight, Walled Garden project officer, said, “We would like to thank the University and all of the students who took part in this collaboration project. They have all worked to a high standard and produced thought-provoking designs that are a catalyst for further conversations with the potential for an inspiring installation within the Walled Garden. 

Gibside John Mc Grath _ Pool Pavilion - To Embed“The aim of these projects is to encourage interaction and fun in the Walled Garden and ‘Seeds for an Idea’ is one of many this year, so it’s an exciting time,” continued Deborah.

Visitors will also be able to see the final touches being made to the Walled Garden’s north-west wall which collapsed due to bad weather in 2013. The final work being carried out to repair the wall includes building a further three buttresses, rebuilding the top courses of the brickwork, removing and resetting the copings and repointing. It is expected to take about eight weeks.

Opening times are 10am – 6pm and normal admission charges apply, free entry to National Trust members. To keep up to date with what’s happening at Gibside visit and follow them on twitter and facebook

Northumbria’s Architecture courses are among the best in the country. Architecture is currently rated Top 12 in the UK, with 99% student satisfaction in the latest National Student Survey (NSS) and an excellent track record of graduate employment. Northumbria’s Interior Architecture course has a 100% satisfaction rating for teaching (NSS 2015), with 95% of graduates going on to work or further study within six months. The University’s newly validated, professionally accredited PG Cert Interior Architecture top-up course (accredited by ARB; Architects Registration Board) is the only programme of its type in the country and allows our BA Interior Architecture graduates to achieve Part I status for Architecture.

To find out more about studying Architecture and Interior Architecture at Northumbria go to: or sign up for one of the summer Open Days on

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