Play Hard

These buildings are changing the face of the North East and we love them

We take a look at our new or refurbished local north east landmarks as captured by photographer Graeme Peacock.

Written by High Life North
Published 10.01.2021

Hadrian’s Tower, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Managed by High Street Residential and built by Tolent, this impressive landmark in the heart of Newcastle City Centre offers luxury apartments as well as a rooftop champagne bar and coffee house. These look set to change the game of Newcastle’s apartment living, with a range of services on offer including laundry and cleaning, meal prep and room service, chauffeur hire and in-house beauty appointments. Not only that, but most of the apartments offer twin-aspect views which, standing at 83m high, promise to offer the best views of the town.

Where do we sign?


Spanish City, Whitley Bay

Erected as a smaller version of Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach, Spanish City opened in 1910 as a concert hall, restaurant, roof garden and tearoom. A ballroom was added in 1920 and later a permanent funfair which I’m sure most of visited at one point or another back in the day. After falling into disrepair, the building was painstakingly restored and opened again in 2018. It’s now a hub in North Tyneside, with everything from independent shops, a steak and seafood restaurant, champagne bar and a unique event space which (in normal times!) hosts gorgeous weddings, parties and Christmas markets.

The Beam, Sunderland

The Beam is the first office building to be developed at Riverside Sunderland: a groundbreaking mixed-use development on the site of Sunderland’s historic city centre Vaux Brewery.

Tolent strikes again with this one, constructing The Beam which provides flexible office space (including an incredible communal terrace right in the centre of the building with views across the River Wear, as well as infrastructure and a new public square.


All Saints Church, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

One we’re all no-doubt familiar with from the outside, but if you’re anything like us, you’ll have never seen inside. Well, we’ve been missing out. Restored in 2019, Kapex Construction worked alongside the congregation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church to bring the church back to life with a full refurbishment in keeping with the building’s heritage. Following a 15-week renovation, All Saints’ Church opened its doors to worshippers, services and events for the first time in decades. We can’t wait to attend an event (hopefully) at the end of this year and see for ourselves.

The Catalyst, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Our editor Laura’s favourite on the list, The Catalyst is a hugely impressive building located near St James’ Park in Newcastle. Owned by Newcastle University, the building is home to the UK’s National Innovation Centre for the Ageing and the National Innovation Centre for Data, both hosted and funded by Newcastle University in partnership with UK Government. This dynamic community will enable the creation of a supportive ecosystem between the innovation centres in our business space in Newcastle and commercial organisations, with a focus on delivering new insights through data analytics or delivering new products and services which help us to age well and for longer.

Thanks to Graeme Peacock

Thanks to photographer Graeme Peacock whose snaps of Hadrian’s Tower were the inspiration for this article. Contact Graeme to purchase any of the images or commission him for work.

Visit Graeme’s website

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