Gateshead Quays have been subject to continual change from its earliest beginnings up until the present day. The  arrival of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the conversion of the former Baltic Flour Mill and the building of The Sage Gateshead have transformed the area once again.

The delivery of the proposals contained within this Gateshead Quays masterplan will consolidate the position of the site as a global ‘brand’ which has become synonymous with arts and culture, underpinned by a mixed, sustainable and stable community. As lead Urban Designer for the RMJM team, Nathan worked closely with our client, other consultants and Gateshead Council to ensure the strengthening of the ‘brand’ identity.

The regeneration of Gateshead Quays is a strategic priority for 1NG, Gateshead Council and their stakeholders, standing at the very heart of Newcastle/Gateshead. The regeneration will be catalysed by the development of an International Conference and Exhibition Centre (ICEC).

In formulating the proposals for the development of a new urban environment, consideration was made for its capability to make a significant contribution to the future prosperity of Gateshead as a whole. The masterplan will help to meet the needs of Newcastle/Gateshead’s population, by providing improved employment, retail, leisure, recreational and residential facilities and attracting investment.


The masterplan has been developed embracing the principles of sustainable urbanism, including planning to reduce travel demand, the incorporation of a mix of uses and opportunities for onsite heat & power generation.

The topography of the site provides inherent opportunities to create identifiable site zones;  The ‘Riverside’, The ‘Parkland’, The ‘Urban Edge’ These maximise the benefits of their adjacencies, effectively turning what were barriers into positive edges.

The urban blocks and streets proposed within the site establish a clear network of public and private space as an extension of the surrounding urban grain. The proposed urban grain provides a level of permeability appropriate to Gateshead’s context. This will be adaptable and permeable, its form based on courtyard blocks.

The quality and design of open spaces and streetscapes have a major influence on how people will perceive and experience this urban environment. The proposals our team developed provide a coherent strategy for the creation of identity within this place, based on the identification of ‘Streets’, ‘Squares’, ‘Lanes’, and ‘Stairs’, relating the inherent identity of the Tyne Gorge.