World leading architects in Newcastle for next phase of the Quayside transformation programme

23 Feb 2022

Gehl, the world’s leading architects in urban design, will be visiting Newcastle on 23 and 24 February for the next phase of the Quayside reimagining project. The team have been commissioned by NE1 Ltd to lead the project.

Heading up the Gehl team is Ewa Westermark, who has an impressive international track record of working with other cities to transform global public spaces and waterfronts, including in New York, San Francisco, Copenhagen, Oslo and Sydney. Ewa will lead her team on a site visit and tour of the Quayside on the 23February, followed by a day of workshops on 24 February 2022.

Some of the North East’s leading architects and landscape designers will work with Gehl and an invited audience of key stakeholders for a day of interactive workshops. The workshop has been shaped by the findings from the online engagement survey, which gathered information from local residents, employees, employers and visitors giving insights into how the Quayside is used and places that people like and dislike. Among the attendees will be business leaders, council representatives, cultural venues, politicians, residents and students.

The aim is to bring together a cross-section of the people of Newcastle and key groups who have a vested interest in the Quayside to take an in-depth look at the themes, ideas and issues identified in the project’s first phase, an online public survey, which saw over 900 people sharing their views on the area.

The workshops will aim to understand the place as it is now, including what people like and dislike about the Quayside, exploring the public’s aspirations for the area and visioning for the future. The next step will be to share these findings with the people of Newcastle through a second survey, which will be issued in mid-March. People will be encouraged to have their say and help shape a shared vision and new future for the Quayside. Gehl will report its full findings at the beginning of April.

Stephen Patterson, Chief Executive of NE1 Ltd, said: “What was very evident from the first survey was that people are rightfully proud of the Quayside and are keen to see it continue to develop and evolve, as well as being progressive and forward-thinking about the area and its future.

“It is a mark of this ambition and aspiration that we appointed Gehl to work alongside some of the city’s finest architects and landscape designers to help us define a collective vision for the future.  The work is about understanding what is precious, what needs to be maintained and celebrated, as well as identifying the opportunities for maximising the commercial and social benefits for businesses, residents and visitors who flock to this area of the city.

“The architectural teams we are working with are all leaders in their field with a hugely impressive track record of transforming buildings and places. We are excited to tap into their collective expertise and are enthusiastic about what can be achieved.  It is an exciting time for the Quayside, and it is essential that we lay the foundations now for how this world-class waterfront will evolve in the future.”

Commenting on the project, Ewa Westermark, Partner at Gehl Architects said: “The team at Gehl is grateful to have been chosen to be part of the Quayside reimagining programme and are super excited to be working collaboratively with NE1, the people of Newcastle, local architects and landscape designers. The team at NE1 are so enthusiastic and have an ambitious vision and commitment to the city, the Quayside and to making change happen.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for the people of Newcastle to get actively involved in shaping the city’s future and championing a renaissance for the Quayside, its iconic waterfront, heritage, and its incredible natural assets. We are looking forward to reviewing the findings of the first survey which provided exciting and insightful feedback on what the people of Newcastle love about the Quayside and how they want to see it evolve.

“Using Gehl’s methods and experience, gained from working on projects around the world, we will help facilitate the workshops and explore big picture ideas based around the survey’s themes and findings. The workshop will aim to create a shared vision for the Quayside that reflects the aspirations of the people of the city.”

“We are proud to be helping to shape the Quayside with the goal of creating a liveable, healthy waterfront that future generations can enjoy and be proud of.”