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Urban Design Compendium

Newcastle Quayside (226)

226 - Building on cultural identity

The Quayside has been an active waterfront in Newcastle since Roman times. Continuing to grow through the Medieval period, it culminated in the flowering of late Victorian enterprise. Thereafter decline set in and by the 1970s decay was extensive.

The Quayside was the Tyne and Wear development Corporation’s flagship development, and is now a key project for the Regional Development Agency, One North East. Urban Design principles embodied in the Master Planning Guidelines/Framework include issues such as definition of the Quayside, aesthetic considerations, materials, public art and landscaping.

  • Blue Anchor Court, the first housing for sale built in central Newcastle for over half a century, was the initial project in the Quayside regeneration programme. An intimate series of residential courtyards, encompassing two/three storey housing, it reflected the traditional scale of Trinity House and reinforced the urban fabric. Connected to the River's edge from its highest point, overlooking the Tyne Bridge, by cascading steps and cobbled paths within its quieter quarters, it opens onto the lively waterfront through arches.
  • The intriguing Ouseburn Watersprorts Centre at the Quayside's eastern point gives this unique location the landmark it deserves - a beacon tower, nautical design and active maritime uses.
  • The linear Quayside experience is captured and enriched by the attention to detail. Reflected in the public art - on facades, in courtyards and along the waterfront and pedestrian routes - it has an eye-catching yet understated maritime/nautical feel, adding depth to the experience.
  • The Quayside may be best described as a series of interwoven spaces, both private and public, with buildings both large and small, that are stitched together as a collective whole by the quality and simplicity of the urban design.

Other Information

  • Location: Newcastle
  • Project Team: Masterplanners: Terry Farrell & Co. Architects: The Napper Partnership (Blue Anchor), Jane Darbyshire & David Kendall Ltd. (Ouseburn Water Sports Centre) 
  • Contact: Newcastle City Council, Planning Department, Civic Centre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 8QN. Tel: 0191 232 8520         


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Public art and quality detailing of quayside public realm.  

Images (image bank)