Archive for February, 2013

  • How a disused parcel works became a work of art

    You can’t switch on the TV these days without watching a makeover show.

    Teams of experts transforming old barns, historic farmhouses and ramshackle castles into dream homes.

    We have a makeover story of our own.

    Instead of just one happy owner, thousands of people every year now have the opportunity to enjoy the special hotel we’ve created on a site of a disused and derelict parcel works in Newcastle city centre.

    More than seven years ago we learned about a ramshackle old works site alongside the East Coast Edinburgh to London mainline in the centre of a conservation district in the Geordie capital.

    Disused industrial parcel works on the site of today's Sleeperz Newcastle

    From disused parcel works to a RIBA award winning hotel in the heart of Newcastle


    Awkward and Unusual Space
    The space was awkward and unusual and butted onto the end of a series of original railway arches.

    You wouldn’t have looked at it and thought it could be transformed into a curved and gleaming award-winning building.

    Or, that it would offer stylish contemporary hotel rooms less than two minutes from Newcastle City Centre.

    Working with Clash Architects, the team behind our first design-led budget hotel in Cardiff, we set out to bring our passion for spaces and places to the North East of England.

    We won an award, from RIBA no less, the Royal Institute of British Architects; for architectural excellence.

    View of Sleeperz Hotels Newcastle - iconic building

    We didn’t scrimp on anything.

    • Wet room pods built by the same engineers and craftspeople who used to make Bentley’s
    • Showers by Grohe
    • Sinks by Villeroy & Boch
    • Floating shelving
    • Free hanging wardrobes that are fashionable, minimalist and functional

    Well, our Newcastle Hotel is 1-year-old and we are throwing a party this week to celebrate as well as opening our first-ever art gallery space inside a hotel.

    Art in the Arch@Sleeperz is a free exhibition of light-based art and urban city-scape photography.

    It has been installed in a passageway beneath an original railway arch and is open to the public and hotel guests.


    Art in the Arch@Sleeperz - exhibition of light based art in Newcastle

    Mick Stephenson’s art work shares Sleeperz’s passion for industry, design, architecture and building


    We have a passion for spaces and places and for art, architecture and design and so we decided to invite North East artists who share that passion to fill this space and share art with our guests.

    Art in the Arch@Sleeperz is being curated by Carlo Viglianisi and Nick Maylan of Empty Shop, an independent not-for-profit arts organisation, based in Durham.

    Empty Shop regenerates empty and disused spaces, turning them into art studios and holds events, exhibitions and workshops.

    There is also a photo-essay curated by architectural photographer Steve Mayes telling the story of how Sleeperz Newcastle was built in pictures.

    Light artist Mick Stephenson is also exhibiting light-based sculptures inspired by building, architecture and design.

    Mick Stephenson's Art in the Arch@Sleeperz exhibition

    Wooden figures interact with light in this art work suspended from the walls high above the hotel restaurant

    Mick spent 20 years as a sound and lighting technician in the music business and 15 years working in construction. His Fusion installation featured 4,000 pieces of everyday materials lit with LED lighting, and was commissioned for Lumiere 2011 – Durham’s bi-annual winter festival of light.

    Get this, it costs less to light this entire exhibition than it does to boil a kettle.

    If you share our passion for spaces and places stop by Art in the Arch@Sleeperz. Exhibition opens from Thursday February 21st and runs until May 21st 2013.