Newcastle’s Toffee Factory

How would one go about taking an abandoned warehouse built in 1878, and turning it into a modern, stylish, high-end office space?

RGB LED lights isn’t a bad way to go at all.

The Toffee Factory was refurbished in 2010, with the aim of turning the 100+ year old building into high quality move-on offices spaces for creative sector businesses.

Led by xsite architecture – a team of local Ouseburn architects – they used a set of Philips ColourGraze and ColourReach RGB LED floodlights to illuminate the exterior of the complex.

The defining structure of the factory is the 30m high chimney – where a set of three 4ft floodlights are positioned 1.6ft from the base of the tower – allowing the colours to wash up the side and make it visible for miles.

Newcastle’s Toffee Factory Gets A Sweet New LED Lighting System

The other notable feature of the site is the 4 adjacent archways, which have had the same RGB LED floodlight treatment.

A total of 64 fixtures illuminate the inside of the archways, spaced 10 inches (25.4cm) from the wall – giving a similar finish to the tower itself.

Lighted Sidewalk

The entire building has been decked out in colourful LEDs, with the whole fitting operated using Philips Power Control System. This allows whoever is at the controls to change the colours and effects depending on anything from current events to the weather at any given time.

The new lighting setup is in fact entirely LED – and saves 60% on the site’s carbon footprint compared to an equivalent setup using high-intensity discharge lighting.

It’s so environmentally friendly in fact, that it got a BREEAM “very good” rating.

Toffee Factory Lighted

The site was originally first used in 1877 to develop a ‘Foreign Cattle Yard and Slaughter Shops’, as a response to the increased numbers of live cattle imports from abroad.

The building has since been demolished, however, the ramp used for the entry and exit of cattle still remains today and is a prominent feature of the site.

Production of the building as we know it commenced in 1878 – it’s commonly believed that the idea behind the building was to cope with ever increasing numbers of livestock.

A short while later, Charles Riley and Tom Maynard formed Maynards Sweet Company, and leased the first floor warehouses in the early 20th century. The warehouse would be the site of many famous sweets including Acid Drops, Aniceed Balls and Rock.

Maynard’s Toffee however was the most advertised – giving the factory is modern day name.

Unfortunately the factory ceased production in the late 1950s. Despite a fire in 1993 that destroyed the roof of the building, the regeneration project was initiated in 2010 – the rest is history!

What do you think of the new setup at the Toffee Factory? Let us know in the comments below, post on our Facebook page, or tweet us @WLEDLightsUK using the hashtag #WLEDAware.