Heaton House

Musical performance hall / Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK​

Individual

Northumbria University

BArch Year 3, 2018

Site

Development of NE1

Part of the Core Strategy and Urban Core Plan for Gateshead and Newcastle upon Tyne 2010-2030, Jesmond, Heaton and Ouseburn is to be transformed into a bigger area for creative industries, fostering new ideas and culture.

 

Brief

Backed by Newcastle city council, the brief asks for a musical performance hall that sits in a suitable location in Heaton park. The project offers opportunities of creative freedom such as the incorporation of public spaces or schedules of such nature.

Jesmond dene is a man-made valley landscape situated in the conservation area of Newcastle, UK. Along with various historical building, its ease of access and great atmosphere attracts many types of visitors including bird enthusiasts, joggers and those who come for leisure. Located between the urban Jesmond and the nature of the Dene, Heaton park acts as the transitional space.

Inspiration

The beautiful and stunning Jesmond dene inspired a series of art creation to show how magnificent the dene is. They consist of a composite drawing and a popular commute route plan drawing. These drawing give an overall view to the dene sitting in its wider site as well as zooming in for a sneak peek of the lives of ordinary people.

Jesmond Dene

Sneak Peeks

Popular Commute Route

Approach

The Transitional Space

Heaton park is a park situated in the heart of Jesmond. It also acts as a buffer zone separating the urban Jesmond and the nature in Jesmond Dene. The project aims to replicate the transitional space in a human scale. To achieve this, the main walking route in the park is utilised. Multiple gates are placed along the route in addition to the entrance gate, creating multiple buffer spaces that changes the atmosphere gradually as visitors passes through. The main building follows through, aiming to create a coherent experience throughout. Influenced by the woodlands in the site, the building creates a humble structure that utilises all elements from the site.

Concept Sketch

Utilising the vertical elements in the site, columns are placed along with screens, creating a transitional space in the building itself

Evolution of Design

Research

In order to design a performance building, deep understanding in acoustics is needed. Research in echo, reverberation times and the specific type of performance that will be performed in the building is required, which will also affect the size and design of the space. According to the brief, the building would be mainly housing small performances such as ensembles, chamber music and solo performances. Specific requirements to size and reverberation time is shown in research below.

Resolution

Inspired by the transitional space of Heaton park, the building utilises the vertical elements in the site, successfully creating a humble structure that blends in with the site. These vertical elements separate the main spaces in the building, extend the depth of the building and creates a more enjoyable experience for visitors. The building includes a small auditorium for chamber music, a performance room for solo performances, a back stage and a teaching room along with a small cafe.