The Lumen

The Lumen, a new eight-storey long-span steel framed building, is part of the wider Helix Masterplan, a new hub of innovation and sustainable urban regeneration in Newcastle. Providing 9,450sqft of Grade A office space it is a building that provides high quality, flexible, modern workspace meeting the needs of today’s science and technology sector.

An elegantly landscaped garden surrounds the building, promoting biodiversity and accentuating the structure’s stunning design, it knits together multiple developments across this 24-acre regeneration site.

The structure achieves the LETI (London Energy Transformation Initiative) 2025 target of whole life-cycle embodied carbon through the provision of a highly utilised, lean, composite steel frame.

What we did

The scheme is located over disused coal mines with worked seams present at shallow depth as well as two open (unfilled) mine shafts within the site boundary. Whilst earlier remediation works had partially mitigated much of the contamination from the site’s previous use, there remained contamination hotspots as well as the presence of ground gas. Extensive site investigation works led by our in-house geo-contamination team further reduced the client’s development risk and enabled us to develop a site zoning plan used to strategically place the building’s piled foundations.

The structure was a key facet of the building’s architectural expression through façade setbacks at Levels One and Seven, vertical building façade lines, cantilevered elevation ends and the crown element to the top of the building.


We undertook extensive research into steel-framed building typologies to understand where reductions in material and embodied carbon could be achieved whilst still fulfilling the requirements of the workspace brief. Our innovative structural solution mitigated the frame’s environmental impact and delivered a column-free floorplate on a 15.5m x 9m structural column grid.

Progressive optioneering and data-driven client choices at each step of the design achieved a material utilisation ratio of 95% and an embodied carbon reduction of 350kgCO2/msq when compared to similar building typologies.


More than an architectural delight in the Helix Masterplan, the Lumen’s forward-thinking approach to sustainable development and structural solutions is what makes it stand out. Built for today’s workspace occupants yet meeting sustainability goals for tomorrow’s generation.

Pell Frischmann is proud to have delivered a scheme that creates value aligned to our own noble purpose and sustainable aspirations, as well as boosting economic growth and creating investment opportunities in North-East England.

Artiom Cybulko, Senior Engineer:

We are proud to have played our part in delivering Lumen, this iconic development in the Newcastle Helix masterplan. By collaborating with our client and design team and sharing our research and expertise, we managed to push the design’s sustainability credentials significantly beyond current industry expectations.


We’d love to hear from you!

To find out more about The Lumen, please contact us through our form here.


  • icon-arrow 58kg/msq structural steel tonnage for typical office floor
  • icon-arrow 79kg/msq overall structural steel tonnage (including roof transfer structures)
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