The competition winning and lottery funded building opened to critical acclaim in the national and international press. Exhibition, gallery and studio accommodation is arranged under a glass roof, on which the public is able to walk and take in the views over the River Wear to the North Sea and down into the building. In addition to the glazed roof the Centre is a showpiece for other glass technologies including dichroic glasses employed in a sculpture by the artist Laura Johnston.
The site, previously occupied by the North Sands Shipyard, required extensive remediation. Contaminated soils, including a 1m thick layer of man-made peat (the result of a millenium of timber ship building on the site) were removed from the site or exchanged with fill materials from the Stadium of Light. The typical structure comprises reinforced and precast concrete to the underside of the roof. The roof features bespoke plate girders, suggestive of ship building techniques, supported by vierendeel trussed columns to the riverside façade.
The scheme features an earth tube to deliver tempered air to assist heating and cooling in winter and summer respectively, and recycled heat from the glass kilns to provide heating in summer.
Client: Tyne and Wear Development Corporation
Architect: Gollifer Langston
Project Value: £16.0M
Michael Hadi was responsible for the design of this project whilst a director of another practice.