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The Newcastle urban room

Community Center / Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK​


Northumbria University

BArch Year 2, 2017

Site plan

01 Site

Urban room, as emerged from the Farrell Review which explores on the idea of quality design in the field of architecture and the interaction and engagement to the place, have a purpose of fostering meaning and to provide a similar function as a community centre would do.

In Newcastle, this is achieved by carefully selecting the site - The Newcastle Town Wall. As one of the oldest architecture ruins left behind, it reminds people of the past of Newcastle. And though looking at the same structure, all of us thinks differently, we strive to see from other’s perspective, to “stand in another’s shoes”, to understand what others think and accept others. However, we all still look from the same perspective - the human eye level. But what if, one is able to elevate to a second level? It is only by then can one see from all perspectives.

The proposed building sits in between the triangular pedestrian crossing, the best position to enjoy views while still maintaining privacy and away from pollution from main road

02 Approach

The idea was to create a non-disruptive structure that keeps the existing pedestrian walkway, with the building surrounding it, creating a small area that can accommodate leisure, purpose and pass-by that blends the indoor and outdoor together, deconstructing boundaries.

Early ideas showing the curve-around approach of the building blending into the pedestrian path.

Concept drawings

03 Insight

The design of the urban room is a journey. From the stairs that are designed so that one must walk around in order to access the building to the ending stairs that steps down to the ground level, it was so that one could experience every perspective. The transition from ground level to the first level, the difference between outdoor and indoor, going from “front of stage” to “behind the scene”, it was all designed so that one could experience the whole story, see from all perspective.

China Town Entrance


To Bath Lane

Outdoor area

Reception/ Lobby

Artist's workshop

Exhibition Hall

04 Solution

The final solution combines simple geometric shapes and clever positioning that conforms to the landscape, allowing the pedestrian walkway and the building to co-exist, providing an alternative route to experience the Newcastle town wall area. The raise of level also provides a brand new perspective to visitor, enabling a new angle to both the town wall and the city.


The semi-circular staircase guides visitors towards the second level while the hollow core serve as a leisure area. Upon reaching the second level, the building then encourages visitors to absorb all before entering the exhibition hall.


The transition from the exhibition hall to the artist's workshop allow visitors to experience the behind-the-scene moments of creating an artwork, concluding the journey by seeing from different perspectives.


Hand drawn elevation and section along XY

Hand drawn floor plan

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