Take a tour of our headquarters in Newcastle upon Tyne. The short film includes some images of the building in operation in 1920 as a Telegraph Office and its condition in 1997 when acquired by redbox.
The building which is now our Headquarters in Newcastle upon Tyne was purpose built as a Post Office in 1876. It is remarkable that the majority of the building with its two superimposed giant orders – Roman Doric for the porch, and Corinthian above – remains largely unaltered from the original plans to the present day. The first floor space which is now the main design studio of redboxdesign group was originally the Telegraph Office and a contemporary description of the operations in the new building states:
“The work is done quickly and surely; rapid energy is concentrated on distinct and well-practised duties; hurry for the time is everywhere, but there is complete quiet and an entire absence of confusion”
With the addition of a good dose of flair, it would be nice to think that the same description could apply to the current work in hand in the new premises.
The complex remained in use as the main Post Office in the city until 1993 when day to day business was transferred elsewhere. At the height of its use there were over 2,000 people employed with the Telegraph Office alone employing 370 staff handling over 30,000 telegrams a day – more than one per second on average.
Following complete closure in 1993 the building went into rapid decline until bought by redbox in 1997 and subsequently revitalised between 1998 and 2000. Whilst the new development secured the future of this beautiful building into the 21c it is interesting to note that in many ways what has actually been achieved is not really a new use for an old building but in many ways simply a continuum of technology activities from the past, albeit with a significant system upgrade. Whilst the main design studio makes extensive use of leading edge technology associated with information transfer this in many ways simply replicates what was happening in the building 125 years previous when, without doubt, the use of telegraphy would have been perceived as much cutting edge as today’s world wide web.
It is rather comforting to think that the new development has simply facilitated a reincarnation of the original purpose of the building.