Newcastle engineers Patrick Parsons win work on £13m Motel One project

Consulting engineers from Patrick Parsons have been negotiating the challenges of the grade II listed property

Digital designs for Motel One on Newcastle's High Bridge
Digital designs for Motel One on Newcastle's High Bridge

Consulting engineers Patrick Parsons have been boosted by contract wins on a number of new hotel and student accommodation developments in Newcastle city centre.

The Newcastle-headquartered firm has been contracted by Kier Property, the developers of the forthcoming “luxury budget” Motel One on High Bridge.

A team of engineers from Patrick Parsons will provide structural, civil and geoenvironmental services to the £13m project, which will culminate the completion of a 222-room hotel.

The group will also design a multi-storey steel frame with metal decking for the building, which has a Grade-II listed frontage, behind which most of the new development is happening.

Bruce Horsburgh, associate director of Structures at Patrick Parsons, said: “We have already worked on a number of high-profile hotel projects around the UK, so we’re pleased to have been appointed as project engineers for this exciting new hotel right on our doorstep.

“Working in existing buildings always presents challenges, but we are working hard to protect the original features and to carefully monitor our work due to any items unearthed that may have archaeological importance.

“Motel One will no doubt be an excellent addition to Newcastle’s thriving hotel sector, so we’re delighted to be playing a key role in this project.”

Mr Horsburgh said the project had posed challenges due to the accessibility of the High Bridge site and the listed nature of the building.

Unusually the building features precast concrete lift shafts and staircases which have also presented their own design requirements.

He added: “The existing building has been a challenge because it’s over a hundred years old, and we’ve continually had to change our structural modifications to take account of its needs.

“Buildings like this have been altered so many times over the years, but little record has been kept of the changes. It means we’re uncovering things all the time.”

The site underwent an archeological dig in the early stages of the development which uncovered horse bones — thought to indicate the site of an horse trading market situated just off the Bigg Market.

Patrick Parsons has recently been involved in a number of hotel developments in the city including the upcoming 160-bed Hilton hotel in Baron House, opposite Central Station.

Mr Horsburgh said the firm’s regional portfolio of work featured a number of student accommodation projects, which presented similar requirements to hotels because of their modular design.

The Motel One project is the latest addition to Patrick Parsons’ hotel portfolio, which also includes Drayton Manor Park Hotel in Staffordshire and Hotel Indigo and the Easy Hotel in Glasgow.

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