CONTACT

T:

+ 44 0191 388 6245

E:

A:

The Old Rectory

Mains Park Road

Chester-le-Street

DH3 3PU

Old Rectory Map

LOCAL

Northern Bureau for Architecture is a design and research led architecture practice rooted in the cultural, social and environmental character of the North of England. We are ARB registered and an RIBA Chartered Practice.

 

We reject novelty in architecture but instead seek originality in the re-interpretation of traditional forms and patterns of living for a contemporary context. 

 

Undertaking close readings of the specificities of site enables us to build onto existing layers of history with contextual references to create distinctive places rich in layers of meaning in which to live, work and play.

SOCIAL

Our collaborative approach considers the social potential of architecture to enhance individual wellbeing and collective belonging through projects that are generously public facing and civic in manner.

 

Recognising that the configuration of architecture plays an important role in our physical and mental wellbeing, we work with local organisations to catalyse and nurture social infrastructure that can support public facilities and social activity.

 

We seek project sensitive ways to focus on the possibilities of public space as a site for collective social action, with potential for strengthening social ties and the formation of common ground.

ENVIRONMENTAL

We craft contemporary spaces by combining keen design thought with rigorous technical detailing, employing architectonic approaches that draw their constructional poetics from environmental sensitivity to climate and material.

 

We engage closely with material resources, cultures and practices of making to consider assemblages that reduce embodied and in-use energy and utilise passive environmental techniques in order to create sustainable and characterful architecture. 

 

From concept to technical design we prioritise construction detailing that is crafted and beautiful to produce inhabited moments that enhance functional use and are infused with atmosphere.

APPROACH

We embrace architecture as a collaborative production and seek ways to draw contrasting and complimentary voices into the creative design process in the belief that this results in more tailored and compelling outputs for our clients and the wider public.

 

We adopt forms of representation that embody and communicate the varied and distinctive meanings and impressions of a project. Employing model making, hand-drawing, 3D explorations and large scale material assemblages enables us to rigorously test all aspects of a project in development. 

 

Researching, teaching and writing about architecture is central to our work as a reflective operation where successive projects form a cyclical process of learning and action. Situating our work in a wider context and history of architectural practice allows us to enrich our knowledge and contributes to a contemporary culture of idea sharing and innovation.

PEOPLE

JAMES LONGFIELD

CHARTERED ARCHITECT + DIRECTOR

BA(Hons), BArch, PhD, DipArch, ARB, RIBA

James Longfield is a qualified RIBA Chartered architect who studied architecture at Newcastle University, graduating his Part II with a First Class degree and winning the HB Saint Memorial prize for exceptional performance in his design thesis project – ‘The Ruins of the Bank of England’. This project also won the RIBA Hadrian Medal and was nominated for the RIBA Silver Medal.

 

In 2017 he completed a PhD by Creative Practice in Architecture at Newcastle University, becoming the department’s first candidate to do so. In 2020 James was listed alongside colleagues from the Design Office at Newcastle University in the Architects’ Journal’s prestigious 40 under 40 practices to watch in the future.

 

James’s research work has been published in leading architectural journals including: ARQ (Architecture Research Quarterly), OASE, MONU and TRACEY Journal, and a chapter of ‘Creative Practice Inquiry in Architecture’ a book edited by Ashley Mason and Adam Sharr.

 

Alongside practice James has taught into the BA Architecture course at Newcastle University from 2011-present, running a Stage 3 design studio since 2015. In addition he has lectured and guest crited at Sheffield School of Architecture, the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University and De Montfort University Leicester.

LEE ELLISON

ARCHITECTURAL TECHNICIAN + DIRECTOR

ONC, HNC

Lee has over 25 years experience in the built environment with Dixon Dawson Chartered Architects. He is a qualified Technician and has experience in a wide range of sectors.

 

As a Senior Technician within the practice, Lee is involved in managing the technical delivery of new build and refurbishment projects in the commercial & industrial sector throughout North-East England for both public and private clients. Lee also has significant experience as lead consultant, managing client briefs and expectations, coordinating sub-consultants, managing statutory submissions and overseeing construction on site under both traditional and D+B contracts.

 

Lee’s experience of a wide range of construction methods provides a wealth of knowledge that can be integrated at design stage to meet demanding briefs and provide seamless solutions.

ANDREW SKAIFE

ARCHITECTURAL TECHNICIAN + DIRECTOR

ONC, HNC

Andrew is a Senior Technician with over 30 years experience working at Dixon Dawson Chartered Architects. In his career Andrew has delivered comprehensive technical detailing and specification packages across a range of commercial, residential and community projects.

 

Working with the North of England RFCA, Andrew has developed a particular expertise for projects with unique accessibility needs for each individual client. These projects have helped Andrew develop a rigorous approach to solving challenging problems in constrained scenarios.

 

Andrew has regularly led on projects from early inception to on-site delivery, working with client briefing through strategic design to achieve planning, secure Building Control approvals and undertake Contract Administration on-site to Handover. Working across the stages Andrew is skilled at co-ordinating projects and is particularly adept at integrating technical concerns at an early stage to ensure smooth project sequencing.

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