Portland House

A brand identity for a sustainable and contemporary workspace.

Once the home of the very first maternity hospital, designed by one of the North East’s most prolific architects, John Dobson. It seems only fitting that the place where life began for so many, would be transformed into an inspiring hub of sustainable workspaces.

The building was also home to Newcastle Building Society, now the four floor building is undergoing renovations to create a contemporary and sustainable workspace. A mix of modern architecture combined with the eighteenth century Dobson maternity hospital, the building retains the heritage of Dobson’s Newcastle whilst giving a contemporary workspace with open communal areas. With a city centre location, office space doesn’t get much better.

We were appointed by the developers to create a visual identity and website to signal a new era for this workspace.

Property branding

What struck a chord was the vision for this new workspace, the team were passoionate about refurbishing to save the emission of thousands of tonnes of embodied carbon. An energy efficient scheme would revitalise the existing building and reduced unnecessary waste. Workspaces would be designed with quality, productivity, sustainability and wellbeing at their core and importantly with a variety of eco-friendly measures, including electric charge points for vehicles and e-bikes.

We created a contemporary identity with heritage roots. The logo uses structural shapes, arcs and curves to form a typographic stencil mark, the shapes link back to Dobson’s architectural style and the details seen in his original maternity hospital. The letterforms also reflect the curves from the modern part of the building, merged together they create a contemporary and airy identity.

The AND from Portland is used as a connective device for messaging, suggesting the collaborative qualities of these inspiring workspaces and communicating the USP’s of the building whilst reinforcing the sense of connection. We created an array of assets for the visual identity that all reinforce the concept. Iconography, connective narrative, imagery and graphic shapes combine to create an upbeat, vibrant yet trusted look and feel.

Property branding
Property branding

We also worked on their online presence, we scoped, planned, designed and built the website with our associate developer. With content ranging from floor plans and specs for the office spaces to a focus on the local area, the site is an easily accessible and vibrant online platform.

A tenants login was incorporated for tenants specific documents. A brochure download area encourages users to sign up and captures their date for the mailing list. The connective narrative is carried through the site with statements changing as the user scrolls. The site launched as an essential tool for their property agents to let out the space.

Portland House opened in 2022 and has been praised for it’s eco ethos, recycling over 97% of their waste, more than 150 tonnes in the strip out alone.

Property branding
Property branding
Wayfinding iconography

We worked with Altogether to conceive a brand, and design a brochure and a website for Portland House. We remain as impressed with them at the end of the project as we were following their original proposal. Sarah and Michael have delivered a product that matched our expectations; they have provided design inspiration, challenged our ideas when needed, and always been at the end of a Zoom call with a smile. We look forward to working with them again soon.

Oliver Holland, Director, Portland House