Landmarked by the tallest observation structure in Europe the project (5m taller than London Eye!) celebrates Newcastle’s iconic Geordie culture with a vibrant mix of food/retail and entertainment activities. The development embraces a passion for “experience”, immersing visitors deep into the hearts, heights, and horizons of Newcastle and beyond. The project has a high profile in national media and will create over 800 full and part time jobs, including considerable ongoing operations in sports, leisure, events, food and beverage.
Winner- Global Future Design Awards 2020
Firm | Concept i
Architect/Designer | Concept i
Category | Urban Planning
Team | Geoffrey Morrison, Richard Wood, Duke Thavilap, Tee Taniratpaisal, Francesc Domingo, Nirutt Montalop, Sasipa Vichitkraivin
Photographer/Copyright | ©Concept i
Following successful negotiation with the City Council to develop the old Spillers Flour Mill quayside site, The World Wheel Company commissioned Concept i for the planning and design of the project. The Brief highlighted the need to locate and orientate the 140 m high wheel to optimize safety, structure, circulation, operations, and visual considerations. The Wheel would act as the Attraction Anchor, energizing and activating a promenade full of other leisure, sports, retail, food and beverage activities. The Council development criteria did not limit FAR, Height, Building coverage. The development brief included the following components:
- Wheel Entrance Building
Admissions / Ticketing, Visitor F&b, Gift Retail, Vip Facilities, Ramp / Escalator / Lift Access to Wheel.
Main Criteria: Circulate People safely Up and Down 26m to the Wheel Loading Platform
- Indoor Entertainment Center
Indoor Active Sports, Adventure Play, International Virtual Golf Club, Rooftop Covered Footsal / Tennis, Office Space
- Leasable Restaurant / F&B Buildings
- Led Media Screen And Geordie Giant Urban Sculpture
Important for Income / Sponsor Generation
- Multipurpose Promenade And Plaza Space
Required for Regular Program of Events
- Parking, Accessibility, Cycle Club Integration
- Parking, Servicing, Deliveries, Waste Handling
LAND USE / FUNCTION
All buildings are fully accessible with lifts, ramps wayfinding systems for people with physical and visual disabilities. The promenade is “car free”. Parking is located in a green ”Park” area. Pedestrians circulate towards the anchor and use thematic road train and enjoy the promenade. Cycle paths, and “bike parks” are clearly marked. Service loading, unloading zones are concealed, and connected throughout the buildings by carefully planned corridor/lift network.
The evocative layered façade uses semi transparent, perforated Corten surfaces to add depth, and play with light and views in unusual ways. The legs of the great wheel are expressed and celebrated –The plaza facing façade uses integrated LED technology for digital shows and events.
WHEEL TERMINUS – COURTYARD
The termins courtyard provides dramatic views to the Wheel above. scissor escalators provide a vertical preshow. The giant helix Slide Tower and Roll-Glider , brand restaurant and retail frontages bring visual excitement to the space.
The building is designed for flexibility and changing equipment trends over time. Attractions and food are programmed by age matrix to ensure 3 generation use and enjoyment – something for everyone. Indoor active play and sports, competition footsal, court sports, adventure play, virtual golf center and climbing park will be globally connected. Main attractions, sports and activities are dispersed within a double height space surrounded by a mezzanine with smaller activities tucked underneath.
The building skin utilises a layered facade and a mix of solid and perforated Corten panels as the predominant feature to its external appearance. Main entrances are expressed in glazing to the north and west. The saw tooth metal roof, is designed to withstand wind, and collect rain water for site reuse. The building hosts integrated service/delivery bays, and management offices.
seating and entertainment zones are carefully integrated.
Visitors circulate through a truly public space, with a large multi-functional event court under the LED screen, temporary stage locations, integrated seat walls and lush planting.
It is a vibrant public passage connecting the main parking with the Bins, Wheel Terminus and Fun Warehouse. 10 m high wind break blades are transformed into graphic/lighting features. A theme “Steam Punk” train traverses back and forth along the retained flour mill tracks. Cycle paths, Quayside walks, landscape.