Designed for Watkin Jones Group, Market House is located on Market Street in Newcastle City Centre, on the site of the former Police Station. The site is close to the Central Conservation Area and is surrounded by significant heritage assets, most notably the Grade II Listed Carliol House to the north and the also Grade II Listed St. Andrews Catholic Church to the south. The building layout and massing was designed to respond sensitively to the rich streetscape of Market Street and the surrounding conservation area whilst delivering 225 student bedrooms and associated communal facilities and landscaping. The upper floors house the student accommodation whilst the ground floor is occupied by communal and management facilities to ensure that active frontages are created to the street.
Elevationally, the building responds to the strong and gently curving street edge whilst adopting a tripartite arrangement of base, middle and crown so evident in the surrounding context. This is generated by a highly glazed ground floor surmounted by a more solid framework of slender, reconstituted Portland stone fins and stone splayed infills (which also seeks to serve as a memory of the scale of the Police Station building) and a lighter crown setback. The whole composition is a balance of vertical and horizontal ‘grain’ so evident in adjoining buildings.
The higher glazed studio bedrooms are arranged vertically on the Market Street elevation above the main entrance giving emphasis to it and interrupting the street wall so characteristic of elevational composition within the City, particularly on Grey Street.
To the rear elevations the infill and glazed panels are reversed to allow the glazing to angle away from adjacent bedrooms thereby providing additional privacy.