Project 5: Urban Design Final Crit

Finally, our group had a final review of our urban design proposal. We played a film with an amazing rap and explained every detail of our scheme, relatively successfully. I am rather happy with the work we did in 3 weeks.

Film that we showed in the final review...

Our Boards:


Description of the site now - Derelict, hardly used, wasted space turned into a car park. Buildings up for demolition. Many of the businesses in the close area closing down - Not enough people coming to this area.

Benefits of the site - The location of the site is one of the key benefits, it is located just down from Northumberland, one of the busiest pedestrian areas in the city. It is also close to the Laing Gallery, this initially inspired us to create an artistic link between our site and this Gallery. Other cultural spots are also located nearby, for example the Theatre Royal is on Grey Street on the next over.

Problems with the site - This site has become unused and two of the buildings on the site are planned for demolition. This is because the flow of people currently misses this site, people being drawn instead from Northumberland street towards Grainger monument. There are no attractions in this site that would encourage people to continue down in this direction. This site is also near to the motorway, a deterrent for people hoping to come to the site. There are also bad transport links to other parts of the city and Gateshead.

Concept for the site - A hub where all sorts of people can come, something for everyone. Skate park for young people, art studios and sculpture space for local artists, also brings tourism. This along with the new transport links creates a journey from one artistic area to another. From the Laing people will be drawn here where they can travel on to the Baltic and other developing artistic points in the city.

Descriptions of each area

-Market - A way of increasing trade in the area, the inside area along with the monument square provides a large space for a market, this promotes local trade and also provides an attraction drawing people down from Northumberland street.

-Skate park - A place where young people can gather, the skate park will be set in a plaza, a space where people can gather, relax and socialize. This will be in close proximity to other activities of other groups of people, hopefully this would discourage anti-social behavior and create better integration between other groups of people.

-Station - A new transport centre, different to the metro as it would be a way of linking the more developing areas of the city. It will also create better links with Gateshead, hopefully also creating an art and cultural network throughout the area.

-Bank of England building - A rejuvenation of an interesting building which has become abandoned and is currently planned for demolition. The aim is to turn this into a vibrant space which will bring local artists and create an attraction on the site. There will be lower level restaurants as well, creating a mini-cultural district where people can be part of the emerging artistic scene of Newcastle.

-Sculpture garden - Again relates to the existing bank of England building, we intend to create a landscaped space where people can visit, relax and be amongst the exhibitions of the local artists. We have the idea of creating large stepped platforms as this was a solution to the existing slope that was already on the site. The different levels creates separate areas, breaking up different sculptures and also providing places to sit and relax. The route to the station is also through/near these gardens, creating an aesthetically pleasing journey that creates interaction between the visitors and the concept behind the site.

-Monument area - We removed the existing buildings in this corner in order to open the site up to Pilgrim street as this will encourage people to travel down Northumberland street to this new space. The central monument is intended to create a focal point for the area, also creating a meeting point for people. An artistic structure will attract people, as well as making the site obvious from a distance.