undefinedA photograph showing the exterior of Culture House with a giant balloon sculpture in front of it

Photo Credit © FaulknerBrowns Architects

The £23m Culture House in Keel Square is part of a wider Riverside regeneration plan. According to the City Council:

Culture House will be more than a landmark building, it will recognise the city's rich history and heritage, while inspiring a passion for learning and knowledge. It will be a place of  ambition, making and creativity, stimulating a love of reading for all ages and offering you incredible opportunities to try new technologies, meet authors and artists and find out more about what's going on in Sunderland. It will be a 21st century library, a changing creative space with a warm welcome, great coffee and inspiring spaces both inside and outside for relaxing, meeting and getting involved in a whole range of events and activities.

Creative cultural landscape

Architects FaulknerBrowns say the project is a “fantastic building opportunity for a creative, cultural landscape” in the city centre. The plans are for an environmentally responsible, energy efficient and inclusive building that promotes health and wellbeing - and encourages people to learn, share ideas and be creative. 

 The design concept is all about experiences and showcasing Sunderland to residents and visitors by celebrating the city’s past, present and future - or “the art of the possible”. Sunderland’s industrial heritage - shipbuilding, coal-mining and glass-making - will feature alongside today’s new technologies, the automotive sector and electric vehicles.

Victoria French, Assistant Director of Culture and Events, said Culture House will revitalise library services across the city and provide a place where people can learn, play, explore, make and create, or perform.