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A new, world-class home for Northumbria University's flagship Architecture degrees

19th October 2017

Northumbria University, Newcastle, has unveiled its stunning vision of a world-class new home for its flagship Architecture degrees.

Work has now begun to create the new, purpose-built studios at Northumbria’s City Campus in the heart of Newcastle in an ambitious extension of the University’s historic Grade II listed Sutherland Building.

Recognised by external examiners as being among the best in the UK, Architecture at Northumbria has an international reputation for excellence. Northumbria is ranked 3rd in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2018, with the department of Architecture and Built Environment rated in the top 200 in the 2017 QS World University Rankings.

The new studios have been designed by Page\Park Architects – winners of more than 150 national and international awards – who have liaised closely with Northumbria’s world-leading architecture staff and students on the proposal. Planning permission and listed building consent for this hugely exciting project was granted in the summer, with Durham-based Esh Group construction leading the build. The stunning new studios will feature over 1400m2 of studio space, a new student hub, and academic staff offices.

Engineering and Environment, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), Dr Simon Robson said: “This is an ambitious project to create a new home for our outstanding architecture degree programmes. Page\Park have designed a transformative scheme, blending the grandeur of the listed Sutherland Building entrance with modern teaching studios at the rear. The combination of world-leading academic programmes in world-leading accommodation will place Northumbria’s Architecture and Built Environment Department in an enviable position in the sector.’

Professor Ruth Dalton, Head of Department for Architecture and Built Environment, said: “Page\Park Architects have produced an intelligent and sensitive scheme, knitting together the existing, historic Sutherland Building, with innovative, light-filled, flexible and stimulating studio spaces that will ensure the very highest student experience for our students for years to come.”

Page\Park is a progressive employee-owned architecture practice committed to making a positive contribution to our built environment. Established in 1981, Page\Park has built a reputation for inventive contemporary architecture that stems from an understanding of history, people and place. Its accolades include winning the Carbon Trust Award in Scotland twice, and being shortlisted for the RIAS Andrew Doolan Award for Architecture four times, winning once in 2006 for the Maggie's Centre Highlands and receiving a Special Commendation in 2010 for the McManus Galleries.

Marianne Partyka, at Page\Park Architects, said: “Page\Park are excited to be working with Northumbria University on the proposed alterations and extension to the Category II Listed Sutherland Building.  The project will provide a new home for the Architecture and Built Environment department, providing studio and teaching space over two levels, transforming the ‘industrial’ courtyard to the rear of the building. 

“The project creates exciting new connections between the existing 1887 building by Dunn, Hansom and Dunn and the new studio extension, in the form of a new internal atrium and an external stepped terrace.”

In the latest UK wide research assessment exercise (Research Excellence Framework 2014), nearly half of Northumbria’s research outputs ranked world-leading or internationally excellent. The University is ranked top in the North East for sustained employment for Architecture graduates, both one and three years after graduation. Northumbria is also the highest-ranking university in the North East for both male and female earnings in Architecture, Building & Planning one year, three years and five years after graduation. The Department of Architecture and Built Environment also has an excellent reputation for live student-industry projects, including the recent Land of Oak and Iron Centre in Gateshead and the proposed Angel of the North Visitors Centre. Our staff and students are also working around on the world on international partnerships and collaborations in the likes of Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Dr Oliver Jones, Programme Leader for Architecture, said: “The new space created will only serve to further enhance the international reputation of Architecture at Northumbria for providing an exemplary learning and teaching experience, it will ensure Northumbria remains at the forefront of architectural education within the UK.”    

The University’s Architecture and Built Environment academics are key founders and active members of the award-winning BIM Academy Enterprises (Ltd), a unique joint venture with Ryder Architecture Ltd, which was recently shortlisted for the Most Innovative Contribution to Business - University Collaboration category in the Times Higher Education awards 2017. BIM Academy has worked on a number of high-profile projects in the UK and Europe, Middle East, Far East and Australasia. Its high-profile projects include the Sydney Opera House and the M+ Museum in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

The exciting announcement of new Architecture Studios for the University comes as the latest news in Northumbria’s ambitious campus development plans, which has seen more than £250m invested in recent years. Northumbria’s Student Central building recently opened its doors and in early 2018, the University’s new Computer and Information Sciences building will be unveiled.Click here to find out more about these projects.

To find out more about studying Architecture and Built Environment at Northumbria go to or come along to one of our upcoming Open Days by registering here.

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