Centre for Life, Times Square, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

Terry Farrell
Date Built
Times Square
The Centre for Life is located in Times Square, a development in Newcastle's city centre not too far from the central railway station.  It regards itself as, " ... a pioneering science village ... where scientists, clinicians, educationalists and business people come together to promote advancement of the life sciences." Among its offering to visitors are: a planetarium, a science theatre, a motion simulator ride, a young explorers zone and a number of exhibition spaces.  The Centre's website points out that the site had previously been, " ... a Roman settlement, a hospital and a livestock market."  They add that, "This ambitious, bold project transformed a run-down area of inner city Newcastle and stimulated a regeneration programme that includes a hotel, offices, housing and a multi-storey car park."

The Centre was designed by the architectural practice of Terry Farrell.  On their website they describe the £60million scheme as combining, " ... a new block for the university’s genetics department; a Bioscience Centre with office and laboratory space for private sector bio-technology companies; a visitor attraction designed to inform the public about genetics and the story of DNA; and Times Square, Newcastle’s first new public square for over a century."  They regard the centre as,  "... a landmark urban regeneration project that celebrates and revives elements of Newcastle’s past. The architecture and urban planning actively promotes renewal, evolution and development, thereby mirroring the life-giving function of the building."

The old building, seen in the images above and below, is a relic of the market that once occupied this site.  On the ground floor of the old building were the offices of the market keeper and the toll collector.  Upstairs was living accommodation for the families of both.  It was designed by the Newcastle architect John Dobson and built in 1840.

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