Gateshead is known for its ambitious development such as the Sage, and the Baltic. The next phase is a wider regeneration of the Gateshead area. 2500 homes are to be built over 19 sites over the next ten years. The masterplan for the 2500 homes was a collaboration between SWP, Studio Egret West and Alison Brooks Associates. Three key locations were developed further with SWP responsible for Saltwell and Bensham,
Saltwell and Bensham is an established, inner-city, Victorian neighbourhood, characterised by streets of two-storey brick terraced houses on a southwest-facing slope. Its streets and terraces are a familiar urban form that is ideal for the social regeneration and the consolidation of a sustainable community.
There is little wrong with Saltwell and Bensham’s basic urban form of consistent, terraced blocks. However, the long streets, the way the blocks are occupied – the building typologies on them, the uses to which they are put, and the lack of variety of green space – means they fall short in offering the right environment for social life and access to shops, amenities and transport.
This is the basis for the area’s transformation into a sustainable and highly desirable neighbourhood within a newly imagined Gateshead.
The core of the design offer will enable more mixed communities to exist by providing more flexible accommodation to augment the existing housing and new spaces. Subsequently the new, diverse, living environments will offer homes to wider community, whilst creating a more generous and high-quality public realm for everyone.