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Claremont and Daysh refurb

Work starts on bringing a Newcastle landmark into the 21st century

Published on: 22 September 2018

The University's Claremont and Daysh buildings will undergo a complete refurbishment that will transform the 1960s buildings and significantly improve their energy efficiency and sustainability.

The complex is made up of three interconnected buildings – the Daysh building, 10-floor Claremont Tower, and Claremont Bridge which spans Claremont Road.

The £60million project will include a full internal refurbishment with a total reconfiguration of the interior space so that the buildings can be used more effectively and made more accessible. The improved block will be made up increased study space for students, specialist teaching space and academic staff offices. Externally, new windows and brick cladding will transform the appearance of the buildings.

When complete, the refurbishment project will provide new teaching and research space for the Schools of Geography, Politics and Sociology and Architecture, Planning and Landscape, as well as for Philosophical Studies, the Combined Honours Centre, and exciting new doctoral training space.

Work will be carried out in two phases. Phase one will see the transformation of Claremont Bridge and Tower and should be completed towards the end of 2019, when work on the Daysh building will start. The whole development is expected to be completed by February 2021.

Professor Julie Sanders, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “This major renovation work will transform these 1960’s buildings, with significant maintenance problems, into a single coherent building instead of three disjointed ones. This will create a great space right in the heart of our campus that provides an environment which is welcoming, truly accessible, and stimulating to work in for staff and students.”

Claremont and Daysh in the early days

Landmark year for geography at Newcastle

The buildings date back to 1968 and were designed to house, among others, the University’s growing Geography department, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

Now part of the internationally-renowned School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, the department was formed in 1928 and the following year recruited Henry Daysh, who was Head of Geography for 36 years.

Sir Henry Daysh was also instrumental in establishing Newcastle’s distinctive tradition for teaching and research that is rooted in addressing real world problems - a practice which continues to this day. He applied his own expertise in regional and economic geography to the challenges facing the North East in the wake of Great Depression of the 1930s and advised on initiatives such as the development of the government-funded factory building scheme at the Team Valley Trading Estate in 1938.

By the time of his retirement in 1966, Henry Daysh had become the University’s first ever Deputy Vice-Chancellor and was the driving force for modernisation of the campus. He successfully negotiated with Newcastle City Council and the Freemen of the City for the expansion of the university, including the construction of the Claremont Tower and Bridge - and Daysh building, which is named in his honour.

Students outside Daysh in its early days

Future-looking

Geography at Newcastle is now ranked in the top 60 of the world’s major institutions for geography research by the QS World University rankings. 

Professor William Maloney, Head of the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, said: “Ninety years on, many of the founding principles of Henry Daysh continue to have a legacy on Geography teaching and research here at Newcastle. In this landmark year as we celebrate our Geography heritage, it’s just as important to look to the future and re-emphasise our continuing commitment to the advancement of knowledge and having a real societal impact”.

 

Journalists looking for photos to accompany this story can download them here.

Original architect's impression circa 1967
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