Durham Riverside Renewal

Water power-themed public art installation commissioned for Freemans Reach


The developers of Freemans Reach have commissioned a unique public artwork, which celebrates the history of water power in Durham City.

Representing an investment of £100,000 by the development consortium of Carillion, Arlington Real Estate and Richardson Capital LLP, the glass sculpture entitled Confluence will use local imagery to chart Durham’s history and the use of water power on the riverside from the 11th century up to the present day and the Archimedean screw at Freemans Reach.

The screw drives a turbine which generates electricity fed into the National Grid that is the equivalent of 75 percent of the power requirements of Freemans Reach. It makes Freemans Reach the only UK city centre development to feature a hydro-turbine.

Designed and created by American artist Jeffrey Sarmiento, who is Reader in Glass at the University of Sunderland, supported by local resident and history enthusiast Rosemary Zakrewski, the public artwork will include two installations.

Confluence, which is being produced at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, consists of two features mounted to the south and east facades of the Freemans Reach kiosk. Four long glass panels display Jeffrey’s ‘Durham Mill Encyclopaedia’ of landmark moments in the site’s history. On the other site a lenticular agamograph made of glass prisms reveals an image of the Archimedean screw when viewed from one angle and an image of Archimedes and Durham Bishop Hugh De Puiset when viewed the other.

The public art will be installed on the walls of Freeman’s Reach new kiosk café and forms part of the high quality public realm area at the development, which includes a new Riverside Walk.

Freemans Reach is a significant regeneration project at the heart of Durham, which has helped retain valuable jobs in the city centre by providing high quality, sustainable offices for National Savings and Investments (NS&I) and Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO).

It is also the catalyst for a major programme of renewal on the riverside by the development consortium. As a result of NS&I and HMPO moving from Milburngate House to Freemans Reach, the next stage will be the transformation of the Milburngate site into a premium development featuring homes, offices, restaurants and a boutique cinema.

Neil McMillan, Development Director at Carillion, said: “We want to mark the significance of water power to Durham City and the Riverside, which dates back centuries. The Public Art Installation will allow future generations to enjoy this important part of Durham’s history, which continues in the form of our Archimedean screw, which has become an attraction in its own right.”

Allan Cook, Managing Director of Arlington Real Estate, said: “Freemans Reach is synonymous with hydro-power and this art installation is a perfect way to help share this part of Durham’s past, present and future with local people and the thousands of visitors who come to the city every year. I am looking forward to seeing the concept brought to life when it’s unveiled in the summer.”

Jeffrey Sarmiento said: “I was very proud to be asked to be part of this unique art project. Durham City’s long history, together with the new Archimedean screw, at Freemans Reach has provided plenty of inspiration for me. I am looking forward to working on the art at National Glass Centre where I’ll be supported by a group of University students who will be part of a legacy project for Durham City.”



CONTACT: Jamie Collis on 01325 363436

Editor’s Notes:

Durham Riverside Renewal

The development consortium consists of Carillion, Arlington Real Estate and Richardsons Capital LLP.

Arlington Real Estate and Carillion also work in partnership on another flagship County Durham development, DurhamGate. Located five miles south of Durham City, DurhamGate is on the site of Black & Decker former UK headquarters and, at 60 acres, is the largest regeneration project in the North East.

The project includes the regeneration of Freeman’s Reach and the redevelopment of Milburngate House, which are on adjacent banks of the River Wear in the heart of Durham City.

According to the Sunday Times 2014 ‘Best Places to Live’ listing:

“Durham is a lovely place to live. Beneath its glorious cathedral, you’ll find pretty cobbled streets stuffed with little independent shops and great watering holes, a beautiful river that carves its way through dramatic walls of rock and greenery, and some attractive house stock – along with a thriving buy-to-let market, thanks to all those students. One of the nicest places to live is South Street, which looks directly onto the cathedral and castle, and which inspired Sir Walter Scott. Many of its terraced houses are grade II listed; prices range from £400,000 to more than £1m.”

About Carillion

Carillion is a leading integrated support services company with a substantial portfolio of Public Private Partnership projects and extensive construction capabilities. The Group had annual revenue in 2014 of some £4.1 billion, employs around 46,000 people and operates across the UK, in the Middle East and Canada.

The Group has four business segments.

Support services – this includes facilities management, facilities services, energy services, utility services, road maintenance, rail services and consultancy businesses in the UK, Canada and the Middle East.

Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects - this includes investing activities in PPP projects for Government buildings and infrastructure, mainly in the Defence, Health, Education, Transport and Secure accommodation sectors.

Middle East construction services - this includes building and civil engineering activities in the Middle East.

Construction services(excluding the Middle East) - this includes building, civil engineering and developments activities in the UK and construction activities in Canada.

This and other Carillion news releases can be found at www.carillionplc.com

Jeffery Sarmiento Biography

Jeffrey Sarmiento is currently Reader in Glass at the University of Sunderland, where he was awarded a PhD in 2011. Educated at the Rhode Island School of Design, he has worked internationally as a Fulbright Fellow in Denmark, a Visiting Artist at UrbanGlass, and an instructor at Pilchuck Glass School.

Known for his artwork exploring cultural identity and the graphic image in glass, he won the International Glass Prize 2012 at Glazenhuis, Belgium and his recent solo exhibition at National Glass Centre in Sunderland toured to Bullseye Projects, USA. His collaborative work was also included in Glasstress Gotika at the 56th Venice Biennale. His work is also included in the permanent collections of Museum of Liverpool, Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, the Speed Art Museum, USA and Glasmuseet Ebeltoft, Denmark.

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Left to right: Artist Jeffrey Sarmiento, Carillion’s Neil McMillan and Durham resident Rosemary Zakrewski with parts of the new public art installation that will be on show at Freemans Reach
Left to right: Artist Jeffrey Sarmiento, Carillion’s Neil McMillan and Durham resident Rosemary Zakrewski with parts of the new public art installation that will be on show at Freemans Reach
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