The Gate, Newcastle’s premier leisure and entertainment centre, has recently completed a multi-million-pound refurbishment. At the heart of the transformation, designed by Faulkner Browns, is the main entrance lobby and the triple height circulation area. The rings and glass installation create a spectacular focal point for the building’s multitude of exciting entertainment operations and a strong sense of destination to the eight million people who visit annually.
The client, The Crown Estates, required a spectacular centrepiece taking advantage of the full height glazed elevation fronting Newgate Street. This would not only impress and delight visitors inside the venue but would also be visually attractive from the outside, enticing people to explore the multitude of operations within.
Northern Lights were approached by Faulkner Browns to work closely in collaboration with the other members of the design team to create a truly unique bold statement feature.
Working from the initial design brief, and what turned out to be an inspirational image provided by Faulkner Browns’ John Kemp, several concept options were proposed and very quickly a preferred design was chosen. The selected design incorporated a cluster of 12 giant LED illuminated rings and cascading glass suspended under a highly polished stainless steel canopy. This feature would be an incredible eight metres in diameter positioned in a dominant central position over the main escalators.
The feature illuminated rings range from 1250mm to 4500mm in diameter, the rings constructed from mild steel panels with acrylic diffusers. The metal work was finished in an elegant grey with a contrasting trim in polished brass, adding a luxurious touch. Suspended by thin wires from the ceiling plate, they look as if they are floating effortlessly between the floors of the complex. Each of the rings can be illuminated by the internal LED either individually or collectively and can be colour changed and cross faded from one ring to another. Completing the overall presentation are over 4,000 champagne tinted elliptical ‘bubble’ glass decorations which produce a beautiful illusion of light. They create everything from a subtle sense of opulence to a more vibrant atmosphere of celebration dependent on the mood required.
Crucial to the successful development and delivery of the design was the collaboration with Neil Skinner of SKR Lighting Design, responsible for the entire lighting scheme, and Mark Tallent, who programmed of all the lighting controls. Working with the Northern Lights team, Neil and Mark were instrumental in developing the combination of the lighting effects that makes this feature uniquely flexible in the number of scenes and permutations that can be programmed and selected.
Photography: Jill Tate
Project Managers and Contractor Administrators: TFT