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Spring Update

Spring Update


Lauren Fairley


25 May 2023

Another three months have flown by and we are taking a moment to reflect on all of the goings on inside and outside of our busy studio. From the completion of the offices for a new major offshore wind facility to multiple award nominations, the hard work and fun hasn’t stopped. Read on for a round-up of what this quarter has brought.

Finalists announced

We are delighted to have three projects shortlisted for design awards across the UK.

India Buildings in Liverpool for HMRC in the 2023 RIBA North West Award.

Clifford Chance office in Newcastle for ‘Fit Out of the Year’ in the North East Property Awards 2023

Orelle restaurant in Birmingham for ‘Project of the Year: Bar and Leisure’ in the Mixology23 awards.

One Strawberry Lane office completion

Newcastle upon Tyne’s city centre has a new addition in the form of One Strawberry Lane, a six-storey 6,500m2 office building located in the emerging St. James’ Quarter. This new space is entirely dedicated to charities, with Home Group, a social housing charity, being one of the main tenants. Ward Robinson were appointed as executive designers by Overbury  for this project, to turn a concept design into a vibrant reality, and to develop a scheme with the clients to best suit their needs.

What sets this building apart is its unique and unconventional design. A bespoke race-track inspired flooring concept denotes circulation, with colourful cabana style tea points and striped deck chairs giving the space a ‘festival’ feel. The use of colour is striking throughout, with vibrant accents on the walls, ceilings and furnishings. The building’s heart features a dramatic six-storey green wall behind the open staircase, connecting the floor plates vertically and placing nature right through its core.

The ground floor has been designed to function as a community work space, which is open to the public and all of the building tenants. It offers comfortable and quality space for individual working, collaboration and meetings, as well as a cafe for refreshments. If you want to see this special building for yourself be sure to stop by and take a look around the open ground floor space during your next visit to Newcastle city centre. Click here to find out more.

Photography by SG Photography
Architecture by Ryder Architecture

Twenty mile march for GNAAS

On the 15th of July, we will be embarking on a twenty-mile sponsored hike around Lake Ullswater in the Lake District to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS). We will be praying for sunshine (but hopefully no heatwave!), donning our walking boots and starting early in order to make it all the way around the lake before sunset.

GNAAS are an organisation dedicated to providing vital emergency medical care to those in remote and inaccessible areas. The money raised will help provide crucial funding for GNAAS to ensure that this life-saving service remains available to those who need it most.

We would very much appreciate your support to help spur us on, especially through miles 18 and 19! If you would like to donate please click here.

Newcastle International Airport: Security revamp

We have been working on an ongoing full refurbishment of the security and search area at Newcastle International Airport. The upgraded scheme is designed to enhance the experience of passengers passing through boarding card checks and security.  One of the airport’s priorities is to provide a pleasant and efficient experience for all passengers.  Investing in such a functional space is a testament to their commitment to achieving this goal.

The design includes new ceilings, lighting and flooring, with a timber framed tunnel marking the entrance to departures.  Bespoke bin and liquid disposal units have been designed and innovative new technology implemented to provide passengers with a better, faster experience.

Phase one of the project was completed in March of this year and phase two is set to commence by the end of 2023. The entire project is expected to be completed by March 2024. With these upgrades, Newcastle International Airport sets a new standard in UK airport design and customer experience and we are delighted to be a part of it.

Ward Robsinon host talk at London Workspace Design Show

Associate Vicki Holland recently hosted a panel discussion on managing change in the workplace at this year’s Workplace Design Show. Vicki, along with representatives from HM Revenue & Customs, spoke about their experiences in designing for flexibility and new ways of working, as well as implementing inclusive design in the workplace. The panel reflected on their experience working on the recently completed HMRC Liverpool regional office in India Buildings, which offered a real-world example of how these principles can be applied in practice. Click here to find out more.

Dogger Bank Wind Farm: The world’s largest offshore wind energy project

The North Sea is now home to the largest offshore wind farm in the world. Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a major wind energy project located approximately 130km off the coast of Yorkshire. With a capacity of 3.6 GW, the farm provides enough renewable electricity to power over 4.5 million homes in the UK.

Ryder and Ward Robinson were commissioned to design the new support facility that includes 1,960m² of warehouse space and 1,420m² of office accommodation, in a project with sustainability at it’s forefront. The building was designed to achieve net zero carbon emissions during its construction, as well as to operate in accordance with net zero carbon standards once in operation.

The new facility serves as an operations and maintenance base, with marine vessel access for the wind farm, and we were commissioned to design practical, as well as visually stunning interior spaces within. The shapes of waves were incorporated within bespoke timber wall panelling, referencing the offshore wind farm’s location whilst soft furniture in earthy colours help to bring a sense of calm.

Completed in March of this year, the building has been extremely well received by the client and their visitors and we feel the finished space is a testament to what can be achieved when disciplines collaborate and work together. Click here to find out more.

Australian designer exchange

In February, Ward Robinon’s Alice Pratten and i2c’s Cameron Wheeler embarked on a three month exchange. The two designers joined the Ryder alliance exchange programme to swap places, with Alice heading off to sunny Melbourne, while Cameron, who had never experienced temperatures below zero, had to purchase his first ever set of thermals to join our team here in the UK.

The exchange is a fantastic learning opportunity which allows us to share knowledge and expertise between practices and we are enjoying having Cameron with us to support on our projects.