North East's best new buildings recognised at awards ceremony in Newcastle

The region's best new buildings have been recognised in a ceremony on Tyneside at Newcastle's civic centre

Mark Pinder George Clarke at the Treehouse in Kielder, Northumberland
George Clarke at the Treehouse in Kielder, Northumberland

The region’s best new buildings have been recognised in a ceremony on Tyneside.

Sixty-four of the region’s best property schemes battled it out at the Civic Centre in Newcastle last night for top honours at the RICS North East Renaissance Awards 2014 with Middlesbrough’s The Gateway being crowned Project of the Year.

The contest celebrates inspirational initiatives in the land, property and construction sectors and was hosted by North East-born architect and TV presenter George Clarke.

As well as winning the overall prize, the Gateway took the community benefit category.

Other prizes went to The Witham redevelopment in Barnard Castle, Count Durham; Trinity Square in Gateshead; Maggie’s in Newcastle, Littlehaven Promenade and sea wall in South Shields; Seaham North Dock in County Durham; and Castle Court, County Durham.

Commenting on the winning project, judging panel chair David Furniss said: “When choosing project of the year, the judges are always hoping to see something new and innovative that challenges the status quo and uses the building to facilitate change. The Gateway is a nationally significant project that sets a new standard for care and community benefit.

The Gateway centre in Middlesbrough
The Gateway centre in Middlesbrough
 

“This project is a pioneering bridge between the public and private sectors. Its emphasis on collaboration and partnerships are crucial to its success, and it is directly contributing to the regeneration of an area of our region that needs investment. The Gateway’s strong community links have already made it a valued asset in the area and we believe this is a model that could be replicated across the country.”

A number of highly commended certificates were also awarded by the judges.

Certificates went to Coquet Island near Amble; The Palace Hub at Redcar; Avondale House in Newcastle; Durham University Business School; Metro’s All Change modernisation; Harton Quays Park in South Shields and Eston Eco Village on Teesside.

The judges also felt that Treetops, a private house in Northumberland which combines 1960s domestic architecture with the latest environmental and design standards, was deserving of a special commendation.

Mr Furniss said: “The RICS North East Renaissance Awards are not about architecture, they are about how buildings contribute to the built environment, their community and those that use them.

“Occasionally we see a scheme which does not meet those parameters, but is exceptional in its own right. The creative thinking, attention to detail, innovation and beauty of Treetops left the judges full of admiration, impressed and, frankly, envious. Treetops is a true ‘Grand Design’.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer