The Blue Carpet project uses innovative tiling to define a new public space outside the Laing Art Gallery. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick.
A city centre wide regeneration initiative, instigated in 1994 by Newcastle City Council (NCC), identified the site for enhancement as part of the John Dobson Street corridor improvements. In 1996, Newcastle City Council, aiming to involve an artist in the creation of the new space, launched an international ideas competition, inviting a number of artists with experience in public art commission, site specific and integrated design to submit design ideas.
Following a two-stage selection process, Thomas Heatherwick Studios, London were awarded the project by the selection panel, who were excited by the imaginative and radical approach. Rather than proposing a sculptural artefact to go into this location, Heatherwick suggested a creative concept for the design of the whole place.