We're delighted to announce our Project of the Year — Teesside University’s The Curve — and the other eight category winners for the RICS Awards, North East 2016.

62 of the North East’s most impressive and community beneficial property schemes battled it out for top honours at the 2016 RICS North East Awards. Emma Jesson, the popular face of ITV Weather, hosted for this year’s sell-out ceremony, held at Newcastle Civic Centre, which attracted over 400 local property professionals.

Project of the Year — The Curve (sponsored by Ward Hadaway)

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The highly acclaimed Project of the Year title is presented to the scheme which demonstrates overall outstanding best practice and an exemplary commitment to adding value to its local area. The Curve — delivered by Austin-Smith:Lord Architects, BAM Construction and Summers-Inman Property Consultants — has transformed what was previously a brownfield site in to a striking landmark, which links the North and South sides of the campus.

The £20 million innovative building was completed last year and our judges praised it for being visually striking and offering vibrant and flexible learning space over four floors, along with a 145-seat theatre, floating auditorium and roof terrace. Constructed to the highest level of sustainability, with an air duct system, rainwater harvesting tank, superior insulation and solar powered PV panels to generate energy, The Curve is exceptionally cost effective to operate; 72 cycle racks also form part of the development.

Winners, and highly commended entries, from the eight other categories are:

Building Conservation

Maling Exchange at Hoults Yard, Newcastle Upon Tyne (sponsored by Historic England)

Maling Exchange — a 45,000 sq ft striking Grade A office development within Hoults Yard Business Park in Ouesburn — is a modern and vibrant office and studio complex. Delivered by Brimms Construction and Xsite Architecture, the former jam jar factory was praised by judges for breathing new life into the area.

  • Highly commended: Byker Wall, Newcastle Upon Tyne


Maling Exchange, Newcastle Upon Tyne (sponsored by Forbo Flooring)

This highly-contemporary office and studio complex was once part of the Maling Ford B pottery, which at its height turned out 1.5 million items per month and employed over 1,000 people. It now provides an attractive, inspiring home to a wealth of talent from the region’s creative and cultural industries. Its modern interior design is also inspired by its pottery past, with each of the floors carrying a vibrant pottery motif.

  • Highly commended: Live Theatre, LiveWorks Development, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Community Benefit

North Durham Academy, Stanley (sponsored by Metnor Construction)

The impressive £30 million academy delivered by Durham County Council was praised by judges for helping to improve the well-being of the local community and for providing its students with an inspiring environment. North Durham Academy offers a variety of fitness classes and has become a well-recognised venue for local performing arts clubs and sports clubs too.

  • Highly commended: Daffodil House, Middlesbrough

Design through Innovation

The Curve, Middlesbrough (sponsored by Sika Liquid Plastics)

The Curve includes a lecture theatre with diner-style “pods” or “booths”, designed to increase interaction, 23 quality teaching rooms and modern conference facilities. From the choice of bright furniture and the latest AV technology and equipment, to the way the building flows; flexibility and interactivity are promoted throughout.

  • Highly commended: Hebburn Central, Hebburn


Emergency Care Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead (sponsored by Northumbria University)

This new £32 million Emergency Care Centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital — delivered by Ryder Architecture and WSP Group — has transformed patient care in the region by allowing patients to be efficiently streamlined to clinicians to provide them with a diagnosis and the necessary treatment. Judges commended the project for demonstrating outstanding thinking in terms of modern innovation and sustainable practices.

  • Highly commended: Fellgate Surface Water Management Scheme, Jarrow


The Curve, Middlesbrough (sponsored by Turner & Townsend)

The Curve has provided a catalyst for further development at Teesside University including upgrading and refurbishing its science & engineering facilities. Its enlarged Orion building now includes a three-storey glass extension enabling passers-by to see the latest technologies such as a jet engine testing lab, flight simulator, full size aircraft and a mock power plant.

  • Highly commended: Central Park, Phase 1, Darlington

Residential property

The Paise, Hexham (sponsored by AEDIS Group)

Home to thriller novelist Mark Burnell and his artist wife, The Paise — designed by Newton Architects — has transformed a former run-down farmhouse in to a contemporary, spacious home with multiple entertaining rooms, a writer’s studio, games room, art studio and gym. Judges praised the project team, which also included Todd Milburn Partnership and Cubby Construction Ltd, for going creating a striking property that is carbon neutral.

  • Highly commended: The Malings, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Tourism & Leisure

The Crowne Plaza, Newcastle Upon Tyne

The Crowne Plaza Newcastle — situated in the Stephenson Quarter — was delivered by Space Architects, Clouston Group, Faithful+Gould and Galliford Try. Judges described it as a stunning hotel, conference and leisure facility, which has proved a catalyst for the first phase of an ambitious masterplan to create a vibrant mixed use quarter to the south of Central Station.

  • Highly commended: The Malings, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle Upon Tyne

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