SPACE Architects are pleased to announce that plans for the refurbishment of Northumberland County Council’s offices have recently gained approval from the planning committee.
The refurbishment of County Hall is being delivered in several phases. SPACE will also assist the Council’s in-house architectural team by providing creative and technical assistance for the refurbishment of its existing office environments, which will support agile working for up to 1,300 staff.
SPACE Architects’ David Wise commented: “As designers, working within an existing building is always exciting as it challenges us to find creative ways to unleash the potential of the whole, through carefully considered interventions.
“It has been particularly interesting leading this change whilst balancing the complex demands of a high profile political project.”
SPACE will lead the next phase of the project, which comprises the remodelling of front-of-house facilities to provide a new public reception, meeting suite, leadership suite, café, landscaping and urban realm.
The brief represented an exciting challenge for the practice, as the existing public spaces lack a sense of arrival, legibility and cohesion. SPACE’s design approach focused on retaining as much of the existing building as possible, with minor interventions to create an obvious and welcoming front door for visitors and the community.
The new reception has a strong civic presence and is inextricably linked to new landscaped areas and a memorial square designed by the SPACE landscape team. A series of elegantly proportioned columns enclose a colonnade to the new public reception, framing views to the landscape and tree-lined boulevard beyond.
SPACE’s designs will bring a cohesiveness to the site, through improved parking arrangements, the introduction of a new pedestrian plaza link to the main entrance and the creation of the new Memorial Square - as well as retaining existing features such as the War Memorial and the Viking Statue.
Nick Jaszynski, Director of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture said: “As a landscape architect it is always exciting to work on a challenging project which requires retention of existing site features and opportunities to provide new design features within the site.
“The scheme at Northumberland County Hall combines the old and new perfectly and creates a simple but effective landscape for the staff and visitors to use on a daily basis.”