One of the region’s best-known architects has won a commission to design a new home...for architects.
Jane Darbyshire & David Kendall (JDDK) has been announced as the practice that will undertake the expansion of RIBA Enterprises’ premises in at the old post office in Newcastle city centre.
The practice was chosen from a shortlist of six firms following a competition run by RIBA, the umbrella group for architects in the UK.
JDDK, which was established in 1987, has particular expertise in environmentally low-impact design, an important part of the brief for the job.
RIBA Enterprises’ chief executive Richard Waterhouse said: “It was a great process and I’m absolutely delighted with the result.
“It was a difficult decision as we had six excellent practices on the shortlist, but JDDK fulfilled all of our requirements.
“The firm combines the expertise to deal with the conservation issues around the listed building, with the skill to integrate our technological brief.”
He said: “Our aim is not just to get a great building that will inspire customers, colleagues and the local community, but to develop a case study of the process involved that will be of use to the industry.
“At every stage, we will be interviewing those involved – consultants, suppliers, subcontractors, those within the client body – and will be looking honestly at what has gone well and what could have been done better.
“This reflects the mission of RIBA Enterprises to help construction industry professionals do their jobs better through the services, products and information we provide.”
Ian Clarke, director of winning practice JDDK said: “We are delighted to have won this prestigious commission, and are looking forward to working with RIBA Enterprises to help realise their ambitions for their headquarters.
“The project offers the great contrast of a heritage city centre site in Newcastle and a very ambitious and forward-looking brief – a combination we find very exciting.”
The project, which is due for completion in June 2015 will see the space occupied by RIBA Enterprises expand from 18,000 to 26,000 square feet through a combination of refurbishment, extension and some new building on its current site, the former Post Office in the centre of the city.
In addition to offices for RIBA Enterprises, which currently employs 250 people of which 180 are based in Newcastle, the vision for the development includes the creation of an architecture gallery and other facilities to host industry and public events, such as a lecture theatre and social areas.