The new Newcastle High School for Girls (NHSG) building designed by Ellis Williams Architects and built by Wates Construction has been recognised as an exemplar of architecture and environmental design by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle.
The honour was bestowed as part of the Lord Mayor’s Design Awards in recognition of NHSG’s new senior school building, which opened in September 2016.
The Lord Mayor, Councillor Linda Wright, was particularly impressed with the investment in the education of the city’s children demonstrated by the scheme. The combination of works to the existing school and the addition of the dynamic new building has created a new learning environment whilst maintaining an historic link with the school’s past.
Commissioned by the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), the 12-month build programme comprised the refurbishment of the school’s iconic Victorian buildings at Tankerville Terrace, as well as the creation of a new 3,625 sq m three-storey block. The new development hosts a multi-purpose assembly hall and performing arts venue, dining room, fitness suite, state-of-the-art science laboratories and additional classroom spaces.
The new building was designed in the wake of the merger of Central Newcastle High School and Church High School to create NHSG and has enabled the senior school facilities in Jesmond to now match the already superb junior school facilities in Sandyford, to create the finest educational environment in the region.
The project saw Wates grow its relationship with the GDST, which has also included the refurbishment and extension of South Hampstead High School in London.
At the same ceremony, NHSG was also a commended finalist in the new building category, the judges describing it as an ambitious school project providing modern facilities in a sensitive manner within the conservation area.
Paul Dodsworth, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction Yorkshire and North East, said:
“The Lord Mayor’s Special Award is deserved recognition for the wonderful vision of Ellis Williams Architects, which was expertly delivered by our North East team.
This project was a pleasure to be part of, and we’re thrilled to have helped create a truly modern school building, one which combines 21st century methods of learning with the school’s rich heritage.”
Hilary French, Headmistress of Newcastle High School for Girls, said:
“We love our new building and are delighted that it is gaining the accolades it deserves. Staff and girls recognise how fortunate we all are to have such a fantastic learning environment purpose built for 21st century education and the award is a reminder and a celebration of all that we enjoy on a daily basis.
Our school community is proud of having the finest educational facilities in the North East and grateful to the teams of people who transformed our vision and surpassed our expectations to create what is now an award winning building.”
Cllr Linda Wright, Lord Mayor of Newcastle, commented:
“It was a pleasure and an honour to hand out the collection of prestigious Lord Mayor’s Design Awards to such a talented array of designers, architects and construction professionals.
The projects from the education, leisure, residential and commercial sectors represents the healthy condition of Newcastle’s design principles.
The awards are a reflection of the hard work that people put into how our great city looks for residents, workers and visitors to Newcastle.”