The Malings, Newcastle
The Malings in Ouseburn is located in a thriving neighbourhood stretched out along the flanks of the river Ouse within walking distance to Newcastle city centre.
The footprint of the site is defined by a steeply sloping embankment, enclosed by a highway viaduct, tipping into the river on its lower edge. The chequered industrial uses that occupied the site in its past presented the now familiar engineering legacy of buried obstructions and contamination. However these constraints and associated complexity have been showcased to highlight the character, distinctiveness and interest of this perennially redeveloped pocket of brownfield.
Dealing with the site’s historic contamination and protecting the rivers substantial retaining structures in a creative manner has resulted in a composition of buildings and streets creating a coherent and carefully considered place. The scale, order and proportion of the buildings, position of front doors and windows, with spaces between that prioritise walking and dwelling, incorporating properly functioning water rills and rain-gardens while maintaining controlled access for vehicles, strikes the delicate balance between community, privacy and beauty founded on this new settlement’s environmentally respectful credentials
The spirit of Tyneside compressed into a sociable, varied, intriguing new neighbourhood.
Rowan Moore: the best architecture of 2015