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Sir Terry Farrell Building

Newcastle University building named in honour of architect

Published on: 13 June 2019

The Sir Terry Farrell Building will become a world leading centre where people can learn about the city of Newcastle’s past and discuss its future, and think about the future of global cities.


The centre will be a unique addition to the University’s campus, including a major exhibition area for architecture and urban design. It will also include space for events, study, and research, and a business start-up area for recent graduates. It will be anchored around Sir Terry’s extensive archive, which he generously donated to the University last year.

Sir Terry Farrell is an internationally famous and influential architect. The founder of the prestigious architectural firm Farrells, he is one of Newcastle University’s most successful graduates, and has enjoyed a glittering career spanning 60 years.

The new centre will be housed in what was formerly known as the Claremont Building, on the corner of Barras Bridge and Claremont Road. A former department store before being bought by the University in the 1960s, work to transform and regenerate the site which is currently largely unused, is expected to begin later this year.

Sir Terry Farrell in front of the building named in his honour

Impressive archive

“I’m delighted to have this building named The Sir Terry Farrell Building, it means a great deal to me and I will always treasure this honour,” said Sir Terry. “I know the building well as during my fifth and final year at the School of Architecture in 1960/61 I designed and worked on my final thesis there.

“I look forward to the construction work proceeding and am very excited about the new centre and all it will accommodate there.”

In 2018, he donated £1m and his impressive archive to the University. Comprising thousands of items, the archive spans six decades of his career, and includes models, drawings, papers and diaries referencing iconic and award-winning design such as the MI6 Building in London, which has famously appeared in James Bond films, Beijing South Station in China, and the Embankment Place development above and around London’s Charing Cross station. It also includes pieces from his schooldays growing up in Newcastle and from his five years as a student studying architecture at Newcastle University between 1956 and 1961.

Past and future

Professor Adam Sharr, Head of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing this wonderful Victorian building back to life as a public gallery and urban room. There will be some fascinating stories to tell about the past and future of our city, in relation to future cities across the world, connected into the University’s leading research and teaching, and community work.”

Sir Terry, who is originally from Newcastle, was made a Visiting Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape in 2016. He has played a large part in shaping the way his home city looks, including developing the Newcastle Quayside masterplan, designing the International Centre for Life, and refurbishing and extending the Great North Museum - Hancock. He also created a masterplan for the University campus, all of which resulted in him being made an Honorary Freeman of Newcastle in 2016.

He has won many awards, including the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Gold Medal, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Awards including the International Award, and several conservation, town planning and Civic Trust Awards.


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