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MacEwen 2023 shortlist: NUCastle, Newcastle upon Tyne

Words:
Michèle Woodger

'You can see and hear excitement on every floor'

The four-court sports hall at the new base for the Newcastle United Foundation.
The four-court sports hall at the new base for the Newcastle United Foundation.

NUCastle, Newcastle upon Tyne

Ryder Architecture for Newcastle United Foundation

Contract cost £5.6m

GIFA 1,680m2

 

The £5.6 million scheme is the new home for the Newcastle United Foundation, the charitable arm of the Premier League football team. The foundation aims to deliver over 30 programmes to communities in Newcastle, and needed a base for activities in sports education, health and fitness, mental wellbeing, employability and outreach.

The result is a state of the art community building that incorporates diverse facilities to enhance sports and learning. ‘Life in our new home is incredible,’ says client Steve Beharall. ‘The design has transformed our ability to give participants the best experience. The building allows us to engage with our community in new ways... You can see and hear excitement on every floor.’

  • The building, with a mini soccer pitch on the roof, is next to St James’ Park stadium, by the city centre.
    The building, with a mini soccer pitch on the roof, is next to St James’ Park stadium, by the city centre. Credit: Ryder Architecture
  • A yoga class taking place in one of the multi-use community rooms.
    A yoga class taking place in one of the multi-use community rooms. Credit: Martin Foster
  • NUCastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, designed by Ryder Architecture.
    NUCastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, designed by Ryder Architecture. Credit: Martin Foster
  • NUCastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, designed by Ryder Architecture.
    NUCastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, designed by Ryder Architecture. Credit: Martin Foster
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Built to welcome 100,000 people a year, the new building has a four-court sports hall, a U8 mini soccer rooftop pitch, a spin studio and activity studio and associated changing facilities – used by local charities including those geared for disabled users. A flexible STEM classroom, further teaching spaces and an e-sports room are also used by local schools.

During the building’s creation, the project team provided apprenticeship places in construction and across the design team. As a large and well-funded scheme, its impact is correspondingly far reaching. ‘In terms of impact, this is transformational in the Newcastle area,’ said judge Kathy MacEwen. Isabelle Priest commended it as a ‘transparent, welcoming building, doing a range of things about employment, sports and learning – and the architecture is pretty exciting based on those standards.’


See more on MacEwen shortlisted projects and architecture for the common good here 

Credits

Architect Ryder Architecture

Contractor Robertson Construction

MEP Black and White Engineering

Structural engineering Studio Horn Engineering Design

Landscape design Oobe

Project management Todd Milburn Partners

Cost consultant Gardiner & Theobald

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