Newcastle Laboratory

Client: Aura

Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear

OOBE were commissioned to develop detailed landscape architecture proposals for Newcastle Laboratory building at Science Central, Newcastle’s landmark development for science, business, living and leisure at the heart of the city. The challenging plot needed to connect to the existing masterplan infrastructure, whilst facing a 3,5m level difference – the proposals needed to be inclusive for all, with accessible access to the new buildings and across the site. OOBE took these constraints as an opportunity to create something unique; a secret garden that takes advantage of the level difference to create a tiered space where users of the new laboratory and city residents will be able to relax alongside a series of rain gardens and informal planting.

New development for Newcastle's Science Central

The main entrance to the building, located at the lowest point of the site, will be emphasised by the urban plaza and a landscape that responds to the geometry of the building. The central area has a more naturalistic character, an inward looking quiet space that features rain gardens and steps that recreate an informal terraced amphitheatre. The proposed planting for this area consists of naturalistic planting and species that respond well to episodes of rain. The design for the adjacent streets become a shared surface with prevalence for pedestrian movements, the roads will be lined with trees and further rain garden planters to highlight the importance of SuDS across the masterplan . A temporary landscape will also be implemented where the adjacent future building will sit. A wildflower embankment and localised gabions filled with local dark stone and recycled glass will become a meanwhile space until the building plot is developed.

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