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Library, Gateshead

Part 2 Project 2006
Simon Cretney
De Montfort University Leicester UK
Gateshead and Newcastle face one another across the River Tyne, showing rivalry and diversity through history. Today, Newcastle’s grand classical architecture stands in contrast with the rundown 1960s and 70s structures that dominate Gateshead, one of Britain’s poorest areas.

Regeneration of Gateshead Quays has produced fine buildings and facilities. However they also display severe contrast and separation from the town and its population. This is addressed in an urban design plan encouraging links between the town and the Quays, providing a facility for the population; a vibrant, fun and technologically advanced library as part of a new urban village.

Simon Cretney


Sited at the meeting of three axis, the proposal works with the Gateshead Sage and the River Tyne to make a place of resolution. The site profile is echoed in the section and the ramped journey through the book stacks is punctuated with reminders of these axis and the location of the building in all its contexts. The language of the exterior has the precision of a musical instrument and evokes an older modernism while looking forward to a new era.

2006
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