SimpsonHaugh completes striking student development in Newcastle City Centre

Architects SimpsonHaugh and Partners have completed Verde, a dynamic 543 room student accommodation complex opposite St. James Park stadium in the heart of Newcastle City Centre.

Designed for leading student accommodation provider Downing, Verde consists of two buildings located on Pitt Street and comprises 431 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, along with 112 self-contained studio flats. It also includes state-of-the-art leisure facilities including a cinema room, games room and fully equipped gym.

The scheme’s strong identity is derived from a glazed, vibrant green coloured facade. The prow of the main 11-storey building rises to a focal point at the northern gateway to the Science Central site with crisp angles helping to define views and capture changes in reflected and refracted natural light.

An expansive landscaped courtyard has also been created. Its elevations comprise light reflective silver aluminium panels with two different finishes and are arranged over two floors resulting in a checkerboard pattern. The colours of the panels were chosen to reflect the changing colours of the sky.

Matthew Ayres, Partner at SimpsonHaugh and Partners said:

“Verde is deliberately striking in colour and form, creating a new landmark in this area of Newcastle city centre and forming a distinctive gateway between the University and Science Central.”

SimpsonHaugh and Partners and Downing have been instrumental in the development and rejuvenation of much of Newcastle’s student offering, both in terms of accommodation and academic buildings.

The companies have collaborated on a number of award-winning projects in the city, including the 120,000 sq. ft. Newcastle University Business School and most recently The View; a 444 bedroom student accommodation development which was voted Best New Building at Newcastle’s Lord Mayor’s Design Awards last year. Verde is the final phase of the £250 million Downing Plaza development.

Ann Lodge, Downing chief executive, said:

“We’re delighted to complete the final stage of the Plaza Development. A striking addition to the scheme, Verde is a prime example of the kind of well-designed student accommodation that Downing is renowned for delivering.”