What could be the tallest tower in Newcastle Upon Tyne has been proposed by Stonegate Developments to sit on a site off St James' Boulevard, one of the main roads running through central Newcastle from north to south.
The development is planned for a site on the southern side of Rutherford Street, roughly 350 metres from Newcastle Station. It is in this immediate area that other contemporary mid-scale developments such as Downing Plaza have already been constructed.
Designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects, and running to a total of 82 metres in height, the proposal consists of a tower block with 162 apartments sat over a plinth that has been massed to fit in with the existing low-rise building next door. The residential aspect will be aimed at the rental market, with the apartments tailored for young professionals. In all there will be 97 one bedroom apartments and 65 two bedroom apartments.
To help split up the vertical scale of the building the architect has broken the building up stacking elements on top of each other with set backs to reduce the bulk of the tower and a small cantilever too.
As a result of these design changes that saw the tower at its widest reduced from 40.3 metres to 20.3 metres, the height was increased to the 26 storeys that the proposal is today from an original 18 storeys. This is a striking move as many towers get reduced during the planning process rather than increased in height to make them more slender.
At the top of the building is a pitched roof which has been penned to conceal the plant equipment.
Although the tower is sufficiently well designed to fly through the planning process if it were in Leeds of Manchester, Newcastle is a more hostile city when it comes to building tall and there are powerful heritage elements and NIMBY groups who may make the approval of the scheme less than a foregone conclusion. Newcastle City Council is presently considering the planning application.
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