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Blue Carpet



Feasibility Study into regeneration of areas of Newcastle City Centre to improve economic activity.


New square proposed at New Bridge Street with environmental improvements to adjacent areas.


£300,000 allocated by City Council to new square.

International Ideas Competition launched in July.

Traffic and Pedestrian Survey and Public Opinion Survey carried out by City Council in December.


Thomas Heatherwick commissioned in January.

Design Development Phase

Costings for original proposal prove beyond available resources.

Thomas Heatherwick and assistants carry out public survey in the area for the square.

New design concept developed by the artist with support from the Artist Support Group and Project Design Team.


Lottery application submitted early in 1998.

Arts Council National Lottery awards grant of £499,000.

Detailed design phase:

Detailed design of square including seating, bollards, tree grills.

Research into technical aspects of paving materials and fibre optics.

Technical and construction design for spiral staircase and identification of contractor to fabricate.

Survey of square to identify location of trees avoiding mains services.


Seven mature trees imported and planted.

Exhibition of designs in Laing Art Gallery beside the Square.

Technical specification for all aspects of design and construction finalised.

Fabricators and manufacturers found for paving surface, benches, fibre optics, staircase and other furniture found; contracted late 1999.

Contract for installation out to tender and submissions received in September.

Final costings and broad schedule prepared by late September.

Additional finances secured from internal and external sources to meet final budget.

Newcastle City Council gives final go ahead for project.


Schedule of works finalised and agreed with contractors.

Work begins on site in July with projected completion date in autumn 2000.


Installation completed. Square formally opened in October.

© Copyright Joanna Morland 2000 and 2002