Studio Egret West is the lead designer – masterplanner, architect and landscape architect – for 3000 new homes across 19 sites in Gateshead. We won the commission with a combined client team of Galliford Try and Home Group after 18 months of intensive competitive dialogue. One of the early phases of the project is the Freight Depot which sits close to the Baltic Quarter. It will be a bold new neighbourhood on the edge of a newly imagined and revived Gateshead.
It is a showcase for the future possibilities of sustainable neighbourhood living. The site’s past function as a railway freight depot is brought to life by the arrival of new family housing. Terraced rows are arranged as train carriages embedded within the landscape, creating distinct streets in between. Ecology, sport, food growing and play define the central sequence of the masterplan’s public spaces, and are joined by a Community Hall (powered by the photovoltaic canopy of the adjacent sports court), a neighbourhood food store and flexible commercial space.
Points of intensity define edges of the site where two apartment buildings create a built topography of stepped green roofs; dramatic visual markers from highway and station. The apartments are interlocking duplexes which allow all homes a south-facing living space overlooking the safe play space of a communal garden, as well as spectacular views north to Newcastle; the best of both worlds.