The Stephenson Building

Client: Newcastle University
Location: Newcastle City Centre
Role: Interior Design RIBA stages 1-4

The Stephenson Building is within Newcastle University’s campus, in the heart of Newcastle City Centre. It was constructed in the 1950’s to facilitate the teaching of engineering.

Design North were appointed to work alongside the design team to develop the interior design concept for part-refurbishment, part new-build scheme.


Design North’s concept proposal references historical achievements in engineering both locally and nationally, the best of British design and engineering, and its routes in the North East.  The historical must sit alongside the newer and future innovations, and all aspects of engineering – bio-mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. All must be represented in the new design.

The concept focuses on the building being a neutral backdrop on the inside which belies its complicated architectural external design, with pops of colour in the furniture which will bring the activities alive.

Internally and externally the spaces and materiality has transparency at the heart. All activities which are currently hidden away will be viewed, allowing the building to become the focal point for the engineering courses.

The Stephenson Building is now a place fit for engineers, designers and visionaries, with inspirational spaces to help facilitate research that will shape the future of our world.

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