SPACE Architects Attends the Opening of the Farrell Centre

Last week SPACE Architects attended the formal opening of the Farrell Centre located in Newcastle.

Retrofitted by SPACE Architects in collaboration with Elliot Architects, this former Victorian department store and Grade II-listed building comprises a public gallery, research hub and community space.

Sir Terry Farrell, who grew up in Newcastle and went to university there, was instrumental in the centre's instigation. The Farrell Centre is situated on the corner of the university campus in an area identified in Farrell's 2000 masterplan as its cultural quarter, with the Hatton Gallery and Northern Stage Theatre nearby with the Great North Museum across the street.

After its formal opening, this inspiring project opened its doors to the general public on April 22nd. Around 500 people per day attended the opening weekend and had the chance to experience various activities, including public discussions, temporary exhibitions, interactive workshops, and other engaging events.

The centre's broad remit explores key architectural and urban issues in an engaging, even interactive way for a wide audience. Four architectural practices and collaborators were asked to create installations that challenge how we conceive, make, and experience architecture in response to the seismic challenges of the climate emergency. Together, the four installations offer visions for architecture that are open, experimental, inclusive, and, above all, optimistic, celebrating architecture's potential to help us adapt to a rapidly changing world.

The Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment, a joint initiative between Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, created 'The Living Room,' pictured below. The structure itself is grown from fungal mycelium, sawdust, and wool. This innovative technique uses organic, locally available waste materials and microbial processes. 

As well as two main exhibitions each year, the centre's programme will host talks, debates, workshops, and activities for schools, young people, community groups, and built-environment professionals. 

Director at SPACE Architects, Chris Holmes, who attended the event, said, "A lovely afternoon was had by myself and the team at the formal opening of the Farrell Centre. It was a great event, and wonderful to see Sir Terry and so many people in attendance enjoying the spaces and exhibitions. Many thanks to the university for their hospitality." 

**Credits for the Urban Rooms installations are as follows:
3D design – CAN
Design and Artwork – Altogether
Tyneside map commission – Foundation Press
Printer – Statex and Chromazone
Suppliers – Stormboard, Scaffold Direct

And for the exhibition galleries:
Gallery 3:
Installation shot of ‘Luxurious Thrift’ by Office S&M, part of the exhibition More with Less: Reimagining Architecture for a Changing World (22 April – 10 September 2023), Farrell Centre, Newcastle
Gallery 2
Installation shot of ‘Liberate/Insulate’ by Dress for the Weather, part of the exhibition More with Less: Reimagining Architecture for a Changing World (22 April – 10 September 2023), Farrell Centre, Newcastle