Client: Newcastle NE1
Location: Newcastle upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear
Chris was awarded overall winner for his entry into the NE1 public realm design ideas competition for the Queen Victoria Road area in Newcastle. Aimed at North East based young designers, it was a late night visit to the site to take photographs and the light trails created by traffic moving through the space, that inspired Chris’ design. Queen Victoria Road is a major artery within the movement framework of the city with the RVI hospital dominating one side and Newcastle University the other. The route acts to feed people by vehicle into the hospital, the University and the city centre whilst severing pedestrian connections between the two institutions.
Innovative connections and public realm between a hospital and university
Chris’ strategic vision was four fold: to develop a spatial hierarchy, create more usable public space, increase connectivity and reduce the dominance of vehicles. The creation of pockets of public space along the length of the road offer opportunities to rest, ponder and contemplate. Enhanced visual and physical links between the buildings were proposed through surface treatment, street furniture and artwork. The later represents Chris’ original inspiration – the ‘light trace’ installation dramatically soars overhead capturing the sense of movement providing a unique focal point to the area whilst visually connecting both sides of the road. Altering the dominance of vehicles by enhancing the pedestrian prioritisation through the use of traffic calming measures adds to the creation of a beautiful piece of public realm. OOBE were subsequently commissioned to translate these concepts into detailed designs for implementation.