BAM's North East team has completed the new multi-million-pound, state-of the-art building for The Northern School of Art, the only specialist creative arts further education college in the North. 

The £14.5m scheme will see The Northern School of Art’s college-level campus relocate from its former 1960s built premises in Linthorpe to a new purpose-built, three-storey building in the centre of Middlesbrough. 

Dating back to 1870, the Northern School of Art provides a range of arts, design, theatre and film courses. The new campus building will accommodate over 750 students, from school leavers to postgraduates, and features over 5,000m2 of teaching space including studios for fine art, textiles, fashion, digital media, photography and 3D product design.

Designed by architect, Seven Architecture, the building’s striking design features an exposed concrete frame and polished concrete flooring, with exposed thermal mass to moderate internal temperatures and use less energy. The building exterior features a glazed terracotta façade that references the long tradition of ceramics and fabrics courses provided by the school, whilst long vertical windows ensure high levels of natural light for the art studios. The building has been funded with investment from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority (TVCA), with support from Middlesbrough Council.

BAM, which has offices in Newcastle and has built in the North East since 1916, was chosen to deliver the scheme following a competitive tendering process under the Yorbuild framework.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: ‘The new and improved Northern School of Art is giving students from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool access to the industry-leading facilities that they need to hone their skills and succeed in their art, design and media careers. This brilliant campus will help shape the next generation of creatives while attracting more of the best and brightest to our region, boosting a sector which already has a rich history, and opening up opportunities for more well-paid, good-quality jobs.’

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston added: ‘The building and its facilities are awesome. The new Northern School of Art building is boosting Middlesbrough’s renaissance and helping us to set national standards. Thank you BAM.’

Dr Martin Raby, Principal at The Northern School of Art said: ‘I’m delighted with our new building and am grateful for the support shown by TVCA and Middlesbrough Council. The building provides outstanding facilities for our students now and for years to come. Whilst it is externally striking, I think that visitors are also impressed by Seven’s thoughtful internal design and the high standard of the finish. BAM delivered a great building to a demanding time scale and in challenging circumstances. No client could ask for more.’

‘We are delighted to have completed the construction of this exciting new campus building on behalf of the Northern School of Art. The school’s relocation to this exciting new facility provides the students and staff of the north’s only specialist art and design college with a modern and sustainable new learning space, whilst supporting Middlesbrough’s creative and digital city vision. 

‘This project not only underlines BAM’s continued and long-established association with the North East, it also highlights our approach to delivering social value to the wider community. A good example of this was the project team’s commitment to supporting the local economy by working with local supply chain partners and helping to develop the next generation of talent for our industry by working with Hartlepool College to arrange work experience placements throughout the project.’

Tony Fitzgerald

Construction Director, BAM North East

The completion of the Middlesbrough campus is the latest in a series of schemes delivered by BAM in Teesside. Other recent projects include English Martyrs Catholic School and Sixth Form College, High Tunstall College of Science in Hartlepool, The Curve Teesside University, Ingleby Manor Free School and, currently under construction, the Regent Cinema in Redcar. 

More recently, BAM was appointed by Network Rail to deliver the new southern entrance of Sunderland railway station, and by housing association, Home Group, to construct its new 70,000 sq. ft head office, One Strawberry Lane, in the St James area of Newcastle City Centre.