The Rocket, named in homage to the construction of the innovative Rocket steam engine in 1829 on the adjacent Robert Stephenson and Co locomotive works site, provides Grade A office space in the heart of the city centre.
Commissioned by Clouston Group and in partnership with Galliford Try, construction began on the £12.4m building in May 2013, offering 35,000 sq ft high quality office space across three floors and boasting unique elevated views of the city, river and bridges.
Set to be a prime commercial location, the high specification facility features south-facing balconies, comfort cooling technology and virtually column free, full access raised floors with suspended metal ceilings.
A multi-storey car park beneath the offices serves the surrounding area, next to Hawthorn Square which will be a vibrant public realm space at the core of the Stephenson Quarter.
The lead architect of The Rocket and managing director at Space Architects Andy Roberts said: “The Rocket is a complex development which has been both challenging and equally rewarding to be involved in.
“Space Architects has now been working on the Stephenson Quarter for a decade and the completion of The Rocket forms a key component in the handover of Phase 1, marking an important milestone for us.”
Space Group CEO Rob Charlton said: “At Space, we have extensive experience in the design of office buildings and we are now leading a research initiative into Wellbeing in the Workplace.
“Many office facilities have commendable energy efficiency standards but are not necessarily healthy or productive places to work. Andy is leading a research initiative into the design of workplace environments that support health, wellbeing, and allow office-based businesses to achieve optimum productivity and efficiency.
“For many businesses, staff costs can account for 90% of total business costs and it stands to reason that an office environment that focuses on the health and wellbeing of occupants can only have a positive impact on business efficiency and performance.”
Andy added: “Our philosophy of design for health and wellbeing in the workplace has informed our proposals for The Rocket and will also be a major part of other developments such as Stephenson House – the next office building to get underway for Phase 2.
“The Rocket includes excellent daylight for all occupants. Additional contact with nature and proximity to green spaces is provided with green roofs, which also support wildlife from an ecology perspective and help with water management.
“Balconies for relaxation and breakout are provided at each level with panoramic views of the city and Tyne Gorge. High levels of thermal comfort are provided by the mechanical and electrical systems and acoustic comfort is provided by the sound absorbent ceilings.
“The result is a stunning development with dynamic use of contemporary materials within an historic environment – a flagship building which fulfils the provision of Grade A office space in the centre of Newcastle.”
Clouston Group hosted an event on 5 November to celebrate the Crowne Plaza Hotel and The Rocket being “open for business” and to look ahead to the second phase of the major regeneration project.
For more information on The Rocket, contact Knight Frank on 0191 221 2211 and Cushman & Wakefield on 0191 223 5800.