Location: Sunderland, United Kingdom.

Architect: FaulknerBrowns Architect.

Sunderland City Hall is the second phase of the Vaux Brewery masterplan, which aims to regenerate a 5.5ha site in the northwestern part of the city’s core. The project consolidates a wide range of municipal services previously located across eight locations around the city, bringing them together under one roof. The building also includes a health centre, a gym, an employment centre, public space, and dedicated areas for craft markets or art exhibitions. The project is set to deliver significant net operational savings to Sunderland City Council of around £22m over twenty-five years. The new council headquarters will occupy plots 13 & 14, located at the southern edge of the masterplan. The building responds in both scale and mass, presenting two volumes fronting onto Keel Square linked by a covered central avenue. The building envelope takes inspiration from the city’s industrial and maritime heritage. The middle and top sections of the façade incorporate lightweight aluminium profiles set within floor to floor glazing, arranged to provide a structured and subtly varied articulation to the envelope, orientated to passively control solar heat gain. These material decisions add a feeling of familiarity and civic pride, whilst rooting the modern forms in Sunderland’s rich and arable history.