xsite began taking a hammer to this garage on Ouse Street in Newcastle's Ouseburn valley this week. The first step to its demolition and the birth of a new venue for the valley. Watch this space... Literally!
The Toffee Factory is three days from practical completion. All that remains are external light fittings, the tar spray chip finish to the courtyard and a few internal snags. The high gloss resin reception floor and corten reception desk remain under wraps until handover on Friday. We look forward to experiencing the building as users when we hold our practice conference there in a couple of weeks!
We have recently completed the conversion and refurbishment of two, two storey flats into a fully reinstated Victorian town house. The house, in Newcastle upon Tyne, overlooks the Leazes Moor and sits tranquil within the quiet environment enjoyed by this location.
Retaining many of the original features, a total refurbishment of all four floors has been carried out. Windows have been upgraded whilst retaining the original stained glass panels. Flooring, heating and sanitary fittings have all been upgraded and a contemporary basement apartment added. The kitchen area, fitted with bespoke oak furniture, gives access to a new breakfast terrace overlooking the rear garden.
This years Ouseburn Open Studios has come round once again, this year taking place on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th of November, from 10am till 5pm each day. We will be opening our doors here at Foundry Lane Studios to let you see what everyone based in our building gets up to.
xsite are running tours of 'The Incidental Ouseburn', walking tours of the valley taking in art, architecture and the everyday in 'The Valley'... There will be a tour on both the Saturday and the Sunday leaving from Foundry Lane Studios at 12.30pm. If you work out how to use that new fandangled QR code stuff before coming along there will be additional elements of fun for you on the tour... Please email us to book a place at firstname.lastname@example.org
As well as touring and projecting our latest work around the building we will be cooking up another 'Pop-up Kitchen'. There will be cakes, biscuits and sweet treats for sale as well as Onion and Gruyere Tarts, tasty Leek Potato and Parsley Soup and Spanish Chorizo Stew to warm you up...
Amy Dover, xsite's latest Creative Resident, is transforming part of the building into a secret room, a hidden world of beast, birds and creatures, with lots of new works for sale. If you don't know her work have a look on her website, it is really beautiful...
Jill Tate, an architectural photographer, will be showing new work, with large and small scale prints and cards for sale. Alex Charrington will be showing new prints and studies from his studio space, as well as new web and graphics work from Morph Creative. Bubblegum Vegas will also be having a stall selling tattoo and 50s inspired jewellery and accessories... With lots going on all around our building and all the other venues around the Ouseburn it would be great to see you over the course of the weekend.
The new xsite designed store for Waitrose in Jesmond, Newcastle opened its doors to the public yesterday. The completion of the 8,000sqft plus store with office and warehousing on its upper floors finally sees the old Osborne Road Garage site brought back into use. We think it’s a piece of contemporary retail architecture which gets on well with its neighbours, while the arrival of a blue chip national retailer in Jesmond’s neighbourhood shopping area should be a real asset to the City.
The apartment building near Kings Cross, London is rapidly approaching completion, with the windows fitted and timber and brick-slip cladding in place. Finishing details and the external works should be complete in the next couple of weeks, with four of the five flats being made available on the open market and currently generating interest. We’re excited to see our latest job in London nearing completion!
xsite are pleased to be part of the Changemakers programme, which links businesses with young people between the ages of 17 and 25 to undertake joint projects over a 6 month time frame. Our project will focus on the Ouseburn, young people and regeneration. Project ideas so far include a chill out space, temporary art work, workshops with local young people and an arts festival.
Our changemaker is Alysia Todd, 17, who attends Newcastle College. She is passionate about drawing and would like to use this project to help other young people tap into their creative side.
Last week Alysia and myself attended a Changemakers residential in Chester with around 15 other young people and their representatives within the host organisations. It took me well out of my comfort zone (I hadn’t done role play since high school!) but was a lot of fun and a fantastic opportunity to meet some really interesting people.
For more information on Changemakers go to the link below and for more information on our Changemakers project watch this space!
Last month saw the opening of xsite’s latest project for the De Giorgi family’s Gusto Group. Having worked with Joe, Aldo and Cristina to design and deliver some of Newcastle’s best loved bars and restaurants over the last 10 years – Intermezzo, Popolo, Secco and Alvino’s – the latest to open is Pasqualinos in the City’s newly refurbished Theatre Royal. While the theatre itself has been returned to it’s original Edwardian splendour, the former box office on Market Street has been transformed into a contemporary Italian bar and kitchen, looking to break the mould again for food and drink in the city.
The interior is a collaboration between the client, xsite and Reluctant Hero, the Newcastle based creative studio responsible for the Pasqualinos brand. A retro-industrial, mid-century-Italian, cut and paste aesthetic runs throughout, from the vintage metal seats and galvanised steel cargo lights through to Reluctant Hero’s layered up ceiling artwork and the leather banquette and booth seating.
Showing admirable commitment to the cause team xsite have already made it our business to get fully acquainted with the food and cocktail menus - never off duty us!
The xsite designed Waitrose store on Osborne Road in Jesmond, Newcastle is well on its way to completion and is due to open its doors on 2nd November. The prominent site, a former petrol station, had been derelict for a number of years and its redevelopment has been eagerly anticipated. The building will house offices and warehousing on its upper floors and at street level a convenient, neighborhood, kinda baby-sized Waitrose store.
The Invisible Architectures Festival, curated by Will Schrimshaw, was held on 9-11 September. xsite designed and constructed the meeting point for the festival, a bright red stall which could be easily erected and taken down each day. xsite have worked with Will on the project since he joined us for a Creative Residency earlier in 2011.
Invisible Architectures featured a number of local and international artists, brought together by Will, and focused on the non-visual side of Newcastle’s city centre: sound, ants, textures and more... The events were free and open to the public. I participated in the Rhythymanalysis tour on the Saturday afternoon, a fascinating introduction to the concept of the ‘sound walk’. Over 2 hours we mapped the soundscape of Old Eldon Square, studied the way people moved through spaces and popped a balloon in an underpass to see how sound echoed within the space...
Overall the festival was a huge success and we hope to see it happening again in the future- bigger and better!
We have a new Artist in Residence here at xsite. Amy Dover joined us at the beginning of the month and will be with us for 3 months. She is working on new illustrations and prints of her own and will also be getting involved in some projects with xsite. We are very glad to have her and her collection of taxidermy livening up a little corner of our studios.
Amy's work is beautifully executed pencil illustrations of man, beast and bird, often dark and macabre in nature. She is inspired by music, poetry and folklore and tackles subjects like death, humiliation and deceit. You can see more of her work on her website http://www.amydover.com/Home.html