Monday, 1 April 2019



We have exciting prospective projects on our doorstep in the Ouseburn, across Tyneside and further afield that mean WE ARE RECRUITING NOW!

Are you a 4 years Post Qualification or mid career Architect with excellent design and self starting/organising skills and experience? Are you an experienced Architectural Technologist with a strong design instinct? Do you want to share in the challenge of taking xsite architecture into its next period of growth as a practice? Revit skills are highly desirable but all candidates will be considered on their all round merit. Projects are in the Commercial, Residential and Civic sectors.

We will be taking on up to three architects and technologists who are the right fit over the next two months. To see what we do visit

Initially please email a letter of introduction, stating why you are interested in this position and why you would be an ideal candidate, along with your CV and one or two examples of your work. Please make all documents sensibly sized pdfs and be clear about authorship if it is something you have worked on rather than produced yourself.

Send email to: 
Tim Bailey and Adrian Philpotts 
as soon as possible but no later than 10th April 2019. There will be a second deadline issued but we will be interviewing continuously so do not wait for the deadline.

Any queries about the positions please email and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Architects move to creative cultural hotspot


Spence & Dower Architects, the long established and hugely well renowned architectural conservation specialists will be moving their offices in early May 2019. Following a recent property investment in the Ouseburn by Spence & Dower Partners, Tina Gough and Colin Haylock, and around 18 months of developing a close working relationship on projects and practice with complementary practice xsite architecture, the award winning practice is going to co-locate into the Ouseburn Valley at xsite’s studio Arch 6 on Stepney Bank.

Co-location brings with it a series of immediate benefits in sharing CPD, back office functions, ancillary space and being able to develop joint projects with efficient working practices and expertise in a wide range of sectors and services. Spence & Dower’s continuing work on several projects with English Heritage, under their Framework Agreement, and Union Chain Bridge crossing the border between England and Scotland sets their stall out as exemplary in their principal field while xsite’s recently completed North East Futures UTC school and Boilershop in the Stephenson Quarter illustrates how complementary good contemporary design can be when set against an existing historic setting.

The two practices are working collaboratively at the moment on several projects across the UK and expect this co-location to bring instant advantage to communication and resourcing of these projects.
For further information contact:
Tina Gough, Spence & Dower, (01661) 820071, 07803 340825
Tim Bailey, xsite architecture, (0191) 287 2161, 0774 0186 716

The new address for Spence & Dower will be: Arch 6, Stepney Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2NP

Photo: Pari Naderi

Thursday, 20 December 2018

That Was 2018

2018 saw xsite mark our 18th birthday. As well as being able to enjoy a legal drink, we also managed to find plenty to keep ourselves busy over the year.

architects get to grips with the Lit and Phil
February saw us host an event as part of the RIBA’s Practice Role Model initiative with representatives of 9 practices nationally converging on Newcastle for a weekend of building visits, chewing the fat and the odd tipple.

April brought us two wins in the North East RICS awards for the Wylam Brewery project at The Palace of Arts in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park. The project then went on to compete in the national awards later in the year in the Commercial and Conservation project categories.

the after show

Spring saw us working once again with Wylam Brewery, this time on their By The River Brew Co container community on Gateshead’s Hillgate Quay below the Tyne bridge.
16 weeks from start to finish, a herculean effort from all involved saw the project finished in time for June’s opening of The Great Exhibition of The North. The sun shone and Gateshead felt a little like Brooklyn.

By the River on Hillgate Quay (Time Freezer Photography)

Ouseburn Farm
We’re a close knit bunch in the Ouseburn and the year has seen us continue to support our neighbours at the Ouseburn Farm with their fundraising and capital projects. Look out for exciting new developments down on the farm in 2019 and please support their work if you can.   

Projects large and small completed through the year but perhaps the most significant was the North East Futures UTC secondary school in Newcastle’s Stephenson Quarter. The 600 pupil, health sciences and digital technologies focused school marries a new build block with the refurbishment of a Grade II listed locomotive workshop, the result – we hope – is an inspiring place to learn and teach.


Our resident star of the small screen Maral has continued her great work with a new series of CBBC’s The Dengineers hitting the screens this autumn.

We’re looking forward to getting on site with projects in the pipeline for 2019 having gained planning approval this year including the Oak Meadows and Lower Steenbergs Yard residential projects and a whole lot more. 

Oak Meadows, Middleton St George

Lower Steenbergs Yard 

Thanks to everyone we’ve worked with this year and here’s to more of the same in 2019! 

Friday, 1 June 2018

By The River Brew Co on Hillgate Quay

Things are moving fast on the Gateshead quayside with less than a month to go to completion of the riverside container community. 

Working from West to East fit out of the brewhouse and brewery tap are onto finishes and the brew kit is due on site next week. 

Meanwhile at the east end of the site the H W K R  M R K T event space containers are being swung into place. 

Keep an eye on progress if you're down on the quayside in the next few weeks. 

Friday, 11 May 2018

UTC_Stephenson Quarter Update



16 weeks from completion, works on the UTC at the Stephenson Quarter continue apace.

Masonry verging is complete to the west elevation of the new block allowing the subsequent removal of scaffolding. This signifies a key step towards closing  up the listed building roof and the forming of a link that joins the Hawthorn Engineering Works building to the new build block.

By linking the two slim blocks we create a larger volume at ground level that bridges the two elements and forms the central main hall of the UTC.

Timber repair and conservation works are complete within the listed Hawthorn Engineering works building and the first of the internal scaffold is being removed. Externally, reclaimed slate is now being installed on the reconstructed roof. 

Meanwhile the brickwork to the new block is well underway including the soldier course banding detail.         


Friday, 27 April 2018

Wylam Brewery_By The River Brew Co

On the back of the awards Wylam announced their next project, By The River Brew Co a shipping container community beneath the iconic Tyne Bridge, home to a brewery, tap room, food, fire, custom bikes, coffee and more.

We’re very excited to be continuing our collaboration with them down by the river.    



We celebrated success at the RICS North East awards last week, picking up two prizes –  Best Commercial Project and Best Tourism and Leisure Project – for our Wylam Brewery refurbishment of The Palace of Arts building in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park .

Built in 1929 as part of the North East Coast Exhibition held that year, the Grade II listed building had been disused since 2006.

The refurbishment created a new home for 
Wylam Brewery, the North East’s leading 
craft brewery, incorporating a state of the art 
30BBL brewery in the rear half of the building,while the Brewery Tap, offices, kitchen and foyer space were arranged around the central octagonal hall which operates as an 800 capacity venue.

Not only did the project breathe new life into the building itself, but it has had a hugely positive effect on the wider park, a great example of creative reuse making an asset of an underused listed structure.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

PlanBEE Update_It's rotation time!

Friday marked the end of the 4th PlanBEE rotation period, meaning we said our goodbyes to Emma. Before leaving we asked her do our obligatory Q&A!

Emma, this is your first placement but can you tell us a bit about your understanding and experience of PlanBEE so far?
I was first made aware of the programme almost a year before starting in September (2017) and just loved the opportunity it presents – to be actively involved in real, live projects from day one. The alternative of attending university would mean for a lengthy wait before getting to this and would be without real experience of working in the industry.

What projects have you worked on at xsite?
During my time with the practice, I have been involved in far more than I would have expected;
  • Teviot Cottage, Corbridge - responsible for developing a scheme for the living area and preparing various documents and drawings for tender
  • Minstrel’s House, West Marlish – developing various drawings for a new staircase
  • Unit 15, Benton Square – Colour scheme for new cladding and extension
  • Site visits to UTC – demonstrated importance of coordination and regular reviewing of progress to enable its success
  • Lower Steensberg’s Yard, Ouseburn
  • Former Rocket House, Blyth - developing a scheme for its conversion into 2bed residential property

The Former Rocket House project has been the project I have found most enjoyable because of the heritage and conservation aspects. Having an element of ownership of this project has been a privilege and I feel lucky to have had so much influence on a project. I have really enjoyed seeing the proposal change and progress with feedback from the client and learning of the restrictions of a listed building. I look forward to seeing how this develops and turns out in the end!

What have you learned in your time at xsite?
Having done Product Design at A Level based on architecture I was aware of the design process however it quickly became clear that projects follow a more structured approach - in line with the RIBA Plan of Work- which is something I had not previously heard of.

Some skills learned include AutoCAD and Revit and how they vastly differ from one another. Both have become more familiar through use on projects throughout my time at xsite.

Do you have any tips or advice for anyone thinking about enrolling on the PlanBEE course?
To show plenty of interest in the ongoing projects and many tasks will come your way where you can demonstrate interests and skills.

Has your understanding of Architecture or working in practice changed over the last few months?
I now have a clearer understanding of the role an architect plays in the delivery of a project and the factors which influence design proposals and their development.

Also! A quick hello to Ryan who joins us at xsite for the next 3 months!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

RIBA Practice Role Model

We are delighted to post that xsite has been named a Practice Role Model by the RIBA.

We are one of nine practices selected to 'illustrate the characteristics of a Role Model organisation' and are looking forward exploring collaboration and exchange of ideas with the other practices involved, over the course of the project and beyond.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

PlanBEE Update

Jack was the third PlanBEE student to have joined the xsite Team. We said goodbye to him on Friday but managed to grab him for a quick chat before he left.

Jack, can you tell us a bit about your experience of PlanBEE so far?
Throughout my first year of the PlanBEE program I have undertaken 3 placements. The first of which was at 3E Consulting Engineers, learning about structural, civil and geotechnical engineering. I then moved to Ryder Architecture where, working as a design assistant, I gained experience developing projects from Concept Design to the Developed Design Stage. Following these initial 2 placements I came to xsite Architecture where I have gained further architectural experience as I have had the opportunity to work on different scale projects than those I had worked on previously.

I have found PlanBEE very successful so far. Over the last year - my first year, I have experienced different roles, with different people from various companies which has allowed me to become more knowledgeable about the construction industry as a whole.

I am looking forward to undertaking the next 3 placements over the coming year and gaining my HND level 5.  Following this time, I believe I will be in a good position to choose my favoured role and decide on the career path that I will continue onto.

What projects have you worked on at xsite?
Whilst at xsite Architecture I haev worked on: Foundry Lane Studios - Stephenson Quarter Development (UTC) - Tyneside Cinema - Rockcliffe Pleasure Gardens - West Ave, Gosforth Development.

What have you learned in your time at xsite?
Increased understanding of Photoshop and InDesign
Seen how a project is developed in Revit and AutoCAD
Gained an understanding of how to find solutions to design problems
Observed the difference in requirements and considerations when working on renovation or new construction projects

The new academic year is about to start, meaning that you are becoming a second year and that there will be a new first year cohort. Do you have any tips or advice for them?
Having completed the first year of PlanBEE the best tip I could give to the next cohort of students is regarding time management.  Achieving a balance between hobbies, college assessments and work is key.

There is a lot of information to take in and many assignments to produce over a short space of time so I’d recommend regularly dedicating time to each so that things don’t build up. If they do this then it is possible to achieve everything expected of them.

Has your understanding of Architecture or working in practice changed over the last few months?
Being at xsite has firmed up my understanding of what it is to work in an architectural practice. On completion of PlanBEE, working in a practice will definitely be an option I will be open to.

We are excited to have Emma join us on Tuesday as our next PlanBEE Student!

If you are interested in PlanBEE see the website for more details.
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