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Northern pride

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We present five projects that show the diversity of contemporary architecture in the region

Waring & Netts Blyth Community College, Blyth, Northumberland

Waring & Netts'proposals for Blyth Community College for Northumberland County Council will create a focal point for both pupils and the community.

Public entry is through a radiating plaza that is focused on a glazed circular cyber cafe below a feature tower.The curved top-lit central street running the length of the building will provide a display area for student work, overflow cafe and social area.

The £15 million building will accommodate state-of-the-art IT facilities reflecting the increased use of technology within the curriculum. There is provision for a nursery, open learning centre, sports hall, food court and 440-seat auditorium.

Externally, a fully integrated landscape design creates a tranquil community with an informal framework of trees and shrubs. There are wildlife gardens and 'shelter belts' plus a wide range of sporting facilities. www. waring-netts. co. uk

JABA Architect The Bailiffgate Museum, Alnwick, Northumberland

Grade II-listed St Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Alnwick, which had been empty and dilapidated for 15 years, has been refurbished by JABA Architect to house the Bailiffgate Museum.

The party walls had to be stabilised and an internal floor inserted as a continuation of the organ gallery.

Six steel columns rise from the basement, through the first floor, which is suspended on cantilevered booms and steel rigging. Other works include disabled access lift and cherrywood stair, retail spaces, fire screens, foyer and exhibition areas. Works were completed in February 2002 for £325,000. Tel 01768 898021

FaulknerBrowns Whitehall, Newcastle

Whitehall, a multi-storey office building in Newcastle, is at the heart of the city's Gallowgate regeneration strategy. Adjacent to Eldon Square and the new city bypass, the site is identified as the location for 'tall buildings'and offers the opportunity back to the city to achieve its strategic objectives.

Phase one's office accommodation is intended to promote redevelopment of the whole urban area. The prominent location of the site means that the building will be yet another contribution to the Newcastle skyline when viewed from city approaches by car and rail.

The design of phase one is part of a masterplan developed by FaulknerBrowns for the redevelopment of the whole area. Later phases will combine 70,000m 2of offices with residential and hotel towers in an attempt to define the area as Newcastle's new office location.

www. faulknerbrowns. co. uk

Pascal J Stienlet & Son St Augustine's Church, Felling, Gateshead

Pascal J Stienlet & Son is one of the oldest continuously running practices in the North East. Currently run by Vincente Steinlet, it was founded in 1904 by his grandfather, an early partner of Henry Gibson. From Pascal Stienlet's listed St Edward's Catholic Church in Whitley Bay to his son's (Vincente) Our Lady & St Columbia in Wallsend to grandson's (also Vincente) St Augustine's Church in Felling (pictured), three generations have designed ecclesiastical buildings around the country; churches in the Roman Catholic, C of E and Methodist traditions.

The practice specialises in the architectural form of the liturgy, designs the building scheme, fixtures as well as the furniture, and regularly engages artists, sculptors and craftspersons early on in the project, to create pieces for inclusion in the overall design strategy.

Tel 0191 261 7621

xsite architecture The Buddle Arts Centre, Wallsend

The Buddle Arts Centre (BAC) is a Grade II-listed (former school) building in need of updating. Work includes improved access, new artist's studios, a projection room in the former junior boys' WC block for Black Box Media, reconnecting the north wing of the building and developing the south wing as a new media suite.

The architect, xsite, has completed the development study, which is now entering the implementation stage. The work is in phases, potentially totalling £1.1 million, and will start later this year.

The building houses more than 10 different arts-based organisations, 'each contributing to a thriving and exciting community'. Part of the challenge for the development study was to find a technique for bringing this 'life' to the attention of the casual visitor.By re-establishing the old school corridor as the main thoroughfare to all parts of the building - placing reception, kitchen and WCs off it and designing places for coffee and a chat - 'a soulless space will become an active street that bustles and thrives'.

www. xsitearchitecture. co. uk

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