Smith’s Dock – Smokehouses

Client – Smiths Dock LLP  Architect – SimpsonHaugh & Partners  Role – Civil & Structural Engineers


Smokehouses is a residential and commercial development of 80 homes forming part of the first phase of works proposed for the wider regeneration of the Smith’s Dock shipyard. The masterplan for the former repair yard along the River Tyne in North Shields, which we prepared, identifies the Smokehouses site as an opportunity for a ‘landmark building’.

Across two buildings, all 1, 2 and 3 bedroom homes are elevated above ground in order to benefit from a range of views across the adjacent river and docks. At ground floor, the necessary supporting accommodation for residential provision and retail space help activate the pedestrian route planned along the river front.

We derived the Smokehouses design in direct response to the form and scale of the adjacent Brewery Bond Warehouse. Drawing on inspiration from existing industrial buildings along the quayside and local smokehouses, the Smokehouses’ appearance references these buildings in a contemporary manner using simple, strong forms, articulated at ground and upper levels through the use of pitched roofs, robust materials and simple rectangular openings.

3D Drawing

As technology and the built environment are constantly evolving, so to is the process of design and engineering. To stay relevant in an ever-changing industry, design practices and methods must keep pace, and be ahead where possible, with the rest of the industry. One way in which R Vint Engineering Ltd maintains this is through the production of our 3D drawing and design work. More and more, we are finding that clients and contractors require clear and concise 3D information to enable efficient delivery of projects from initial inception right through to completion. 3D design work ensures that these requirements are met, not only by demonstrating the concept to the rest of the design team, but also by serving to illustrate how structural works will interact with everything from the architectural intent and MEP works right through to contractors and estimators having a clear picture of what is required when the project reaches site.

To date, R Vint Engineering Ltd has worked on numerous projects that have called for the use of 3D design work; one of which is Smokehouses. These 2 high-rise buildings demonstrated exactly why 3D design work is becoming so important in the industry. From demonstrating to the client how the engineering were going to achieve the brief, to collaborative works with the architect, M & E engineers and fabricators to ensure that clash detection was conducted throughout the project to minimize any issues that may be encountered on site by the contractor. The project posed many challenges, from complicated ground conditions due to the proximity of the building to the historical nature of the site, to ensuring the superstructure design would be robust enough to deal with the sometimes harsh conditions experienced on the North East coast.

In spite of the numerous challenges encountered, the project was successfully delivered in 2019, with the majority of both retail and residential units being occupied within months of opening.

Date: November 06, 2017