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Architect Secures Wide-Ranging Listed Building Role at University

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 09.35.56One of the region’s leading architectural practices, Howarth Litchfield, has been appointed in a wide-ranging planning, design and construction monitoring role to refurbish Newcastle University’s Armstrong Building, which is Grade 2 listed.

The project, which will start on site in September, is valued at £7.5m.

The Armstrong Building’s refurbishment marks the final and largest phase of a refurbishment programme to provide high quality, contemporary teaching and learning spaces for the music department and as the main congregational space for graduation ceremonies, once construction is complete, it will also provide a formal processional route from Queen Victoria Road through the Kings Hall to the internal refurbished courtyard and the main university campus.

The refurbishment of the former boiler house to create a large function space is also included in the project brief.

Working as a sub-consultant to Turner & Townsend, the project manager for the scheme, Howarth Litchfield’s appointment is the latest in a long association with the university spanning some 25 years and 50 projects, two of which have recently included work in the Medical School and at the Centre for Ageing and Vitality on the former Newcastle General Hospital site.

Howarth Litchfield’s chairman, Gordon Brewis, is delighted that the firm is able to continue its longstanding relationship with the university on such a prestigious project.  Its brief includes developing the concept design proposals prepared by the university’s design office, submitting planning and listed building consent applications, development of the design to obtain sign off from all the university user groups, preparation of building regulations and tender packages and monitoring of the construction phase through to completion of the project in September 2017.

He said:   “To deliver the project, we will be providing architectural design, conservation consultancy, building surveying and interior design as well as using Building Information Modelling (BIM) throughout in the form of 3D Revit models to allow coordination with our consultants and to illustrate the detailed design to the various user groups.

“The project is specifically programmed to be completed in two phases.  The critical completion date for the refurbishment work to the Armstrong Building has been determined by the 50th anniversary of the visit by Martin Luther King to the Armstrong Building when he received his honorary degree from the university in 1967 – a major event is planned for November 2017 to commemorate this.

“This presents us with quite a challenge because several user groups and stakeholders must be involved in the design development, so it will be important to keep everything on programme. The boiler house completion, which will run in parallel, is also scheduled for completion slightly later in September 2017.”

Project management consultancy, Turner & Townsend was responsible for appointing Howarth Litchfield to the scheme from the university’s framework of consultants.     Jonathan Wray, area manager, commented:

“This large-scale renovation project aims to regenerate the building and provide contemporary teaching spaces whilst at the same time, capturing the original essence of the Armstrong Building.

“We were pleased to appoint Howarth Litchfield to the scheme because of the firm’s historic building expertise as conservation architects together with their detailed knowledge of the university campus.”

The consultant team has been specifically selected and appointed on the basis of their experience to ensure that the designs are deliverable to the required quality and programme.  Other project partners are Apex, acoustic engineers; Kyoob, mechanical and electrical engineering consultant; Maughan Reynolds, structural engineering; Southern Green, landscaping.

By admin