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10 July 2023

Robertson Construction North East deliver architecture hub for Newcastle University

Robertson Construction North East has successfully delivered the Farrell Centre for Newcastle University, which opened its doors in April after being inaugurated by architect, Sir Terry Farrell.

Part of Newcastle University's School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape, the Farrell Centre is housed in a renovated four-storey Victorian building in central Newcastle and has enjoyed significant success since its opening.

The £4.6 million project, partly funded by The Terry Farrell Foundation, is open to the public with free admission and combines a public gallery, research hub, community space, and Urban Rooms, as well as a new feature staircase and lift.

Inspired by Sir Terry Farrell's recommendation in the Farrell Review, a report commissioned in 2013 by the Government into the UK's built environment, the Urban Rooms comprise three multi-use spaces where local people can be involved with the past, present and future of where they live.

Reflecting the commitment Robertson and Newcastle University have to achieving net-zero CO2 emissions by 2030, the project aims to be an exemplar of how historic buildings can be sensitively repurposed and transformed whilst improving energy performance.

Garry Hope, managing director, Robertson Construction North East, said: "Continuing our strong relationship with Newcastle University, delivering this sustainable state-of-the-art facility creates opportunities to engage communities and to widen the debate around the roles that architecture and planning play in the contemporary world.

"We would also like to thank students from the university who have documented our work as the principal contractor within their research module coursework, which has been displayed in the Farrell Centre, alongside site signage salvaged from the project. We are thrilled that our association with the project has been immortalised through the installation. We look forward to seeing the positive impact the Farrell Centre will have on the local community and beyond."

Owen Hopkins, director of the Farrell Centre, Newcastle University, said: "In a world defined by profound environmental, social and technological rupture and transformation, the potential of architecture and planning to create a more inclusive, democratic and sustainable world has never been more important.

"Rooted in Newcastle, but with a frame of reference that's global in scope, the Farrell Centre offers a vital new platform for debating the future of architecture and planning, ensuring that everyone has a voice in this critical conversation."

The centre's programme is broad, offering temporary exhibitions; public talks and debates; workshops and activities for schools, young people and community groups; events for built environment professionals; and spaces for podcasts and other digital projects.