08 Jun 2011

Spanish City

As part of the winning bid led by North East developers, Robertson, ADP has been appointed as the lead architect for the long-awaited £23m regeneration of the Spanish City in Whitley Bay. The iconic Grade II listed dome remains an integral part of the town’s history, despite falling into disrepair, and the ambitious plans will give the site and the town a new lease of life.

Built in the early 20th Century at the heart of the popular seaside town of Whitley Bay in North Tyneside, the Spanish City once provided a wide range of entertainment facilities, including winter pleasure gardens. In its heyday, the building was a popular and vibrant facility that remains close to the hearts of many local people today, both from Whitley and further afield.

While the new scheme is respectful of Spanish City’s heritage, the project successfully marries old and new to deliver a reinvigorated mixed-use facility able to meet the contemporary needs of Whitley’s residents and provide flexibility for the future.

ADP's striking design hopes to return the Spanish City to its former glory, with a full restoration of the original dome including its loggias, or winter gardens, on either side of the dome itself. The design demonstrates a number of key influences that draw upon Whitley's heritage, including deck chairs, sails, kites and the former roller coaster. ADP's choice of colour reflects the sea and the sky, and uses reflections and ambient light to ensure the buildings will resonate with the surroundings.

ADP's Partner in charge of the project, Charles Greenall, commented: "For all of the team, this is an unparalleled opportunity to rejuvenate a site that many of us, including myself, remember from our childhoods. The first phase of the project is one of the most crucial - the full restoration of the Spanish City dome. It's this restoration that is at the heart and soul of our entire scheme. We want to return the dome to pride of place in Whitley, and complement it with strong, high quality contemporary architecture that allows the layers of history on this fantastic site to be clearly visible."