A landmark ‘planet positive’ office development is set to power up the second phase of development work at Newcastle’s key regeneration zone Stephenson Quarter.
The Pioneer – a 100,000sqft building set over 10 storeys with indoor and outdoor workspace – has been unveiled by the joint venture leading the redevelopment of the area, having been designed by RIBA Stirling Prize-winning architects. Stephenson Works LLP, the joint venture between Newcastle City Council and PfP-igloo that was formed to complete the second phase of the development, has officially launched the project, which will be built on the site of world-famous locomotive designers George and Robert Stephenson’s first purpose-built locomotive factory.
The Pioneer – designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris – is one of several climate conscious buildings planned for the area, and its announcement comes two months after the unveiling of The Pattern Shop, a former engine room for Robert Stephenson which will be transformed into modern office space in a £8.7m makeover.
Read more: £8.7m modern makeover for Newcastle’s historic Pattern Shop revealed
With space for around 1,000 workers, developers, property agents and city leaders hope The Pioneer’s commanding position at the gateway to the city will attract a business looking to move into an exemplary new headquarters. Property consultancy Knight Frank is marketing the property, highlighting features including a double height reception space, outdoor terraces to every floor and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city and the River Tyne.
Peter Connolly, chief executive at igloo, said The Pioneer represents a game-changing architectural design for potential occupiers, designed to promote the wellbeing of its occupants.
Mr Connolly said: “As a ‘healthy’ building, The Pioneer has many values from a design and investment perspective that not only hit environmental, social and governance targets but that also serve to attract and retain the best talent. The design has a core focus on wellbeing, maximising natural light and providing access to outdoor terrace spaces on every floor, as well as the flexibility to have a café and other active, sociable and greened spaces at ground and rooftop levels.”
Patrick Matheson, partner at Knight Frank, said: “The Pioneer is launching at a pivotal time in the Newcastle office market. There is a very limited supply pipeline of new offices coming forward from 2024 onwards and, at the same time, a clear demand from occupiers for more sustainable, best in class offices. The Pioneer is well placed for any occupier seeking large scale office space in one of the most dynamic locations in Central Newcastle.”
CGI view of the rooftop terrace at The Pioneer. Credit: Allford Hall Monaghan Morri (Image: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris) Newcastle City Council’s director of place, Michelle Percy, said: “The Stephenson Quarter is one of the most attractive sites in Newcastle which the council and our development partner PfP igloo are looking to regenerate. We are keen to gauge demand for a showpiece 10-storey office block on the site that will offer high quality office space with panoramic views of the city.
“It will be ideal for a corporate partner in the market for an impressive headquarters with excellent connectivity just behind the Central Station and a five-minute walk from the Metro. With its rich heritage and Accelerated Development Zone status the Stephenson Quarter will become a major employment site creating good quality jobs of the future. The Pioneer will take it to the next level.”
Paul Monaghan, executive director of London-based Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, said: “The heritage site for The Pioneer gave us an incredible legacy of historic buildings to respond to and we’ve reflected some of those elements, such as the brick railway arches, into the design which will create a striking addition to the skyline and a beacon on arrival by train into the city.”
“Business leaders increasingly want something different in their workplaces and offices now need to be better than they ever were. We are bringing to Newcastle the latest sustainable elements and we hope that The Pioneer will become a new home for a new generation of innovators that perhaps share some of the entrepreneurial spirit of the Stephenson family that came before.”
Office workspace already thriving in the area includes Central Square and The Rocket, and the redevelopment of the Pattern Shop is due for completion this year.
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