Live Works


Client: Live Theatre

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Status: Completed 2016

Area: 1,900 sqm

Cost: £5,500,000

FL Role: Lead Architects

Planning Consultant: Hedley Planning

Project Management: Turner & Townsend

Contractor: Brims Construction

Cost Consultant: Turner & Townsend

Structure and Civil Engineer: CK21

Services Engineer: Avoca-CE

Landscape Architect: Oobe

Town Planner: Hedley Planning

Lighting Consultant: Michael Grubb Studio

Historic Buildings Advisor: Sarah Dyer

Projects/Development/Regeneration: Buckley Burnett

Newcastle Architects, Technical Delivery: Tench Maddison Ash Architects LLP

Awards Won:

RIBA National Award; RIBA North East Regional Award; RIBA North East Conservation Project of the Year; RIBA North East Client of the Year; Civic Trust Awards National Winner; Lord Mayor's Design Awards New Building; SPACES Award Civic Building of the Year - Community Category Highly Commended

Awards Shortlisted:

AJ Architecture Awards - Community and Faith Project of the Year; BCIA Building Project of the Year (up to £10m); RICS Awards North East Commercial; World Architecture Festival New and Old; Constructing Excellence North East - Project of the Year; RICS Awards Commercial Highly Commended; RICS Awards Tourism and Leisure Highly Commended

Live Works is part of Live Theatre’s evolving cultural quarter in Newcastle, which transforms a century old gap on the Quayside into a place for the community. The project comprises a new centre for children and young people’s writing, in a converted Grade 2 listed almshouse (Live Tales); a vibrant, public ‘pocket park’, which reopens and revitalises the only remaining Grade 2* Georgian courtyard in the city (Live Garden); and new offices where the rental income will fund at least one more play and education project each year for Live Theatre.

Our approach was to design a building that would fit seamlessly into its historic surroundings on both the Quayside, where the site is framed by two Grade 2* listed buildings, and in its relationship to the warehouses and historic listed Georgian almshouses behind. We designed the most compact building we could in order to respect the scale, massing, and materiality of our neighbours, and maximise the size of the new public courtyard (Live Gardens).

The building is clad on the Quayside frontage with loadbearing sandstone façade, matching the adjacent Grade 2* listed Customs House in both material and profile. The courtyard elevations are powerful red brick structures, drawing on the robust industrial architecture of the warehouse buildings which wrap around the new public space.

The budget was fixed and based on available funds from the City Council, and grants from the ERDF and charitable trusts and foundations. The brief was therefore established by calculating how much commercial floor space was affordable within the budget constraints. The overall project programme was governed by the need to meet tight funding deadlines.