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A Finnish Institute for Newcastle

Part 1 Project 2003
Alex Jackson
Catriona Macdonald
Newcastle University, UK
The clarity of the Finnish landscape permeates through their culture influencing furniture to their direct manner of communication. I wanted to embrace this clarity within the institute.

The Quayside’s complex topographic and historic layers required an intricate response to deal with the many facets of the site.

Faced with apparent contradiction I developed a clear language (derived from the Finnish landscape) of ‘objects’ (places of significance used to navigate the building) and ‘surfaces’ (a warped/stretched ground surface and 3 bent/folded building surfaces.

The Quayside is an inevitability so I concentrated on engaging the institute with a new square to draw the user through the façade and publicise the Akenside Hill, an area strangled by motorway. This compliments current development.

Alex Jackson
Catriona Macdonald

Alex's project drew inspiration from the Finnish landscape. This he reinterpreted by developing a language of surface and object in which the latter is defined by function (a la Hadid), connecting with traditional route patterns in the historic Newcastle Quayside setting. We were impressed by the bold concept, the consistency and imagination with this theme was pursued. The student created an intriguing object that straddles the boundary between landscape and urban fabric, invites exploration while making opportunities for cultural encounters - all without neglecting the functional requirements of the brief. The use of daylight is evocative, the materials are uncompromisingly 'hard', but appropriate to achieving the landscape 'folds'; the solid/void and proportional relationships anchors the façade in the streetscape.


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