Afternoon Tours

14:15 pm –16:00 pm

A feature of every CHEAD Annual Conference are our afternoon tours. This year we will be offering the following options to delegates:

Tour 1 Architecture and Interior Design
Newcastle Civic Centre

A guided tour led by Dr Michael Johnson, Senior Lecturer in Design History at Northumbria University. 

Newcastle Civic Centre is an important example of post-war British architecture. Replacing Newcastle’s Victorian Town Hall, the building was designed by City Architect George Kenyon, who was also responsible for the principal buildings of Northumbria University.  Completed in 1968 at a cost of nearly £5 million, the centre is finished to an exceptionally high specification, incorporating expensive materials such as Italianmarble, African woods and Norwegian slate.  Its superb 1960s interiors include a space-age Council Chamber and neo-medieval Banqueting Hall.

Despite its lavish execution, the centre was conceived as a democratic building, symbolising the ideals of post-war Britain.  Controversial Council Leader T. Dan Smith installed much contemporary art to form a ‘people’s gallery’.  Notable works include glass murals by Victor Pasmore, an abstract tapestry by John Piper, expressionist metalwork by Charles Sansbury and glass engravings by John Hutton, recalling his work at Coventry Cathedral.

Departing from modernist universalism, the building adopts a contextual approach in order to express Newcastle’s cultural identity.  Allusions to the city’s Roman and medieval past combine with Scandinavian design elements to define Newcastle as a northern capital.

Tour 2 Art
University of Northumbria School of Art

Tour 3 Design
University of Northumbria School of Design

Tour 4 City
Walking Tour of Newcastle city centre

Please note: This will be a self guided walking tour and attendees will be required to come prepared with the necessary footwear and outerwear in case of rain.


Dates & times

15th March 2022

14:15 pm – 16:00 pm


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