Public   Live Works

Live Works is part of Live Theatre’s evolving cultural quarter along the Quayside in Newcastle and encapsulates Live’s mission to engage the community The Live Works project provides us as architects with a remarkable opportunity : to create a new courtyard for Live with the Children’s Writing Centre and a new outdoor performance space for Live Theatre. The public space is framed by historic Georgian Almshouses and Quayside Warehouses as well as our insertion into the Newcastle Quayside. The new building provides the link between the Quayside and the Public Square with an arcade along Trinity Chare. The building itself combines a cafe on the quayside, the arcade and an entrance off Trinity Chare leads to the Writing centre and the Live Works offices. The sandstone facade on the Quayside completes the gap in the River frontage which has been empty for a century.

The main building consists of two floor plates of roughly 220sqm column-free space mirrored across a central core. Each floor plate receives natural light from multiple aspects. There are a number of outdoor spaces staggered across the scheme, providing break out spaces with views of All Saint’s Church and the suite of alms houses adjoining the site to the north; and views of the Sage Gateshead, the River and the Tyne and Millennium Bridges to the south.

The Quayside frontage is sandstone clad for three storeys with a recessed mansard level above, which matches the adjacent Customs House building both in material and profile. At ground level the end bay provides an entrance into the courtyard via a colonnade abutting the historic Trinity Chare.

Within the newly widened Chare the building steps back to open up toward the Listed Almshouse and the public courtyard space behind. The courtyard frontages are brick clad, matching the stone front / brick rear dialogue prevalent in the locality. The arrangement and articulation of openings on these elevations are more varied and informal, reflecting the additive nature of the development of the existing courtyard frontages.

The courtyard layout emulates the pattern of the former burgage plots onsite. These were medieval plots with narrow street frontages and accessed via alleyways, or chares, off the street. This has been achieved by overlaying the historic building footprint on the site and tracing the building outlines; from this a series of projections form planters and benches. The courtyard provides Live with an outdoor performance Space, with the proscenium of the stage formed by the courtyard façade of the new building. The stage forms the focal point for the presentation of the work produced by the Children and Young people’s Writing Centre.

Client    Live Theatre
Location    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Status    On site

FL Role    Lead Architects
Contractor    Brims Construction
Structure and Civil Engineers    CK21
Services Engineer    Avoca-CE
Cost Consultants    Turner Townsend
Town Planners    Hedley Planning
Lighting Consultants    Michael Grubb Studio
Landscape Designers    Oobe

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