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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
Coreena Ford

Growing architects GT3 to turn derelict Newcastle nightclub into new head office

Tyneside architects are breathing new life into a derelict nightclub after buying the historic building to turn it into their head office.

John Dobson House on New Bridge Street west was once the family home of celebrated architect John Dobson – the designer behind Newcastle Central Station, whose work with Richard Grainger in the 19th Century transformed much of the city centre.

The building will be better known to several generations for providing part of a number of popular nightclubs, including Ikon, Liquid and Tiffany’s.

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In the 1920s a dance hall was built next to the Grade II* listed building, creating the Oxford Galleries ballroom, before it was reborn as clubs including Tiffany’s, The Studio, Ritzy, Ikon, Central Park, Diva, Liquid/Envy and Club LQ.

The dance hall was demolished seven years ago to make way for a student flats development, and John Dobson House has lain empty ever since.

Now the neoclassical building, designed and built by John Dobson himself in 1823, is coming full circle to provide a base for the current generation of designers, as the head office for GT3 Architects.

The company – which has studios in Newcastle and Nottingham – has purchased the four-storey building to bring a fresh purpose to the site.

GT3 plans to nurture its growing team of designers, providing a range of facilities.

Simon Dunstan, director at GT3 Architects, said: “As a Newcastle-based business, it’s important that we’re located in the heart of the city as it undergoes transformational regeneration. We want to be able to offer our colleagues, clients, and visitors a well-connected location, close to the railway station and with all the facilities of our fantastic city on the doorstep.

“We’re pleased to give such a historic building - designed and lived in by one of Newcastle’s most pre-eminent architects - a new lease of life and a sustainable and secure future. Our first priority is to get the building sensitively and comprehensively refurbished. We have a local contractor already on site and are excited to see the transformation progress over the summer.”

The work on John Dobson House will form part of the wider regeneration of the Newcastle’s city centre, alongside the new HMRC headquarters in the Pilgrim’s Quarter complex.

The building when it was home to Ikon nightclub (@TarkId=93533)

GT3 Architects has grown its staff base by more than 17% over the past year and the new office space will accommodate the growing workforce in a series of phases, incorporating flexible work zones, collaborative spaces, quiet corners, an outdoor terrace, and a social kitchen which can also double up as a movie space.

Michael Simpson, interiors and workplace lead at GT3 Architects, said: “We’ve got lots of experience designing amazing workspaces to suit the needs of the new working world so this is a great opportunity to employ our creativity and really go to town designing an amazing space for our team.

“With four levels to play with, our interiors and consultancy teams are working to design a homely, welcoming, and flexible space. Our goal is to deliver a new Geordie home for GT3, which will support our staff, meet the needs of our flexible working policy, and provide a great new meeting and collaboration space for guests and clients.”

GT3 Architects will move into its new home later this year.

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