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FaulknerBrowns wins £15m ‘Beacon of Light’ contest

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FaulknerBrowns Architects has won a £15 million education and sports centre next to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light

The Newcastle-based AJ100 practice defeated Ryder Architecture in the final round of a national design competition – judged by George Clarke – for the cube-shaped building.

Planned to complete in 2017, the ‘Beacon of Light’ will feature ground floor education and training facilities with an indoor football pitch above.

Studio partner Michael Hall commented: ‘The location for the proposed Beacon of Light is on a major gateway site next to the Stadium of Light and required an inventive design to maximise the opportunity.’

He continued: ‘The shape of the building is a simple but striking cube. On entering the building on the first floor, users will be presented with a busy street along which the various activities within the building will interconnect.

‘Inspirational zones for education, world of work, health and wellbeing and sport and play will be clearly earmarked and enjoy excellent views into the sports arena.’

FaulknerBrowns Architects' 'Beacon of Light' scheme in Sunderland

Bob Murray, chair of project-backer Foundation of Light, said: ‘I have no doubt the Beacon of Light will become a building of national importance and international reputation. The building will be leading edge and epitomises the pioneering approach and work of the Foundation.’

Clarke said: ‘FaulknerBrowns did a fantastic presentation and were clearly passionate about the building. I trained and worked there after graduating in 1995, so it was a bit strange that people who were my bosses were presenting to me.

‘Buildings can transform lives, they can inspire people and create the right environment for people to flourish. That’s what we want for the Beacon.’

Set up in 2001, the Foundation of Light uses football to engage around 40,000 local children and young people every year.

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