Smokehouses is a development of 80 homes forming part of the first phase of works proposed for the wider regeneration of the Smith’s Dock shipyard. The masterplan for the former repair yard along the River Tyne in North Shields, which we also prepared, identifies the Smokehouses site as an opportunity for a ‘landmark building’.
Across two buildings, all 1, 2 and 3 bedroom homes are elevated above ground to benefit from a mixture of views across the adjacent river and docks. At ground floor, the necessary supporting accommodation for residential provision and retail space help activate the pedestrian route planned along the river front.
We derived the Smokehouses design in direct response to the form and scale of the adjacent Brewery Bond Warehouse. Drawing on inspiration from existing industrial buildings along the quayside and local smokehouses, the Smokehouses’ appearance references these buildings in a contemporary manner using simple, strong forms, articulated at ground and upper levels through the use of pitched roofs, robust materials and simple rectangular openings.
Design quality is at the heart of the added value that Smokehouses brings to the Smith’s Dock masterplan. In an area where property values are amongst the lowest in the country, we worked closely with the client and consultant team to design and deliver a commercially successful project that retains the shared architectural ambition for the project, and acts as a benchmark for further regeneration of this former industrial site. The retail units are already beginning to attract exciting new businesses, such as 31 The Quay restaurant, creating new jobs and training opportunities for local people.