Berwick Workspace, Malcolm Fraser Architects

Calum was Project Architect at Malcolm Fraser Architects from inception to completion. Workspace is an initiation by Northumberland County Council to encourage local residents to encourage businesses to stay within Berwick-upon-Tweed as opposed to the commute to Newcastle or Edinburgh. Within the historic town walls of Berwick, the site included a collection of former warehouse buildings which had been neglected and through various alterations, were compromised functionally. The design for Berwick Workspace rationalizes the awkward z shaped existing footprint to introduce dual aspect where possible and create a sociable enclosure around an external courtyard. By reorganizing the massing and footprint, in contrast to the existing dead end and dark courtyard, the altered version captures views out, sunlight in and consolidates two new connections to a second courtyard and side street, so extending the towns pattern of south facing, protected lanes and courtyards.


Internally, the workspace provides rentable workspaces which are intentionally varied in size and arrangement, as well as providing flexibility by their ability to be interconnected with adjacent rooms, catering for growth. The more public common meeting space and conference/community facilities bring new life to the courtyard and give opportunity for interaction between businesses and the local community.

Berwick Workspace, Building Design


Location:  Berwick Town Workspace, Berwick-upon-Tweed

Client:  Northumberland County Council

Completed:  January 2008

Contract value:  £3.1m

Contract type:  Traditional JCT

Contractor:  GB Building

Greatest challenge:  A multi headed client such as a council can be awkward when signing off the design at various stages. This was managed in a manner of openness and absolute clarity to ensure that the relevant client and wider stakeholders were firstly defined and then consulted at agreed stages before proceeding.

BREEAM:  Very Good


RIBA Award

RICS North East Renaissance Award Commendation

Scottish Design Award Commercial Commendation

Roses Silver Award for Regeneration

New Business Incubator of the Year

Photography:  Keith Hunter