National Innovation Centre

Newcastle Helix


Located at the Newcastle Helix site, the National Innovation Centre worth approximately £50m is one of the most complex and unique structures in the entire city.

J & D Pierce were awarded the structural steelwork package for this Grade A, 6-storey building.  The building has uniquely fabricated ‘Y’ frames with twisted fabricated columns to the perimeter. In order to achieve a clear span office accommodation and reduce the number of internal columns, cellular beams were employed. Within the building, steel packs of metal floor decking and pre-cast stair units were also provided by J & D Pierce.

The National Innovation Centre is part of one of the largest urban regeneration projects in the UK, creating in excess of 4000 jobs, a total of 500,000 sq. ft of office and research facilities, and 450 new housing.

Specifically, the centre will house:

  • The National Innovation Centre of Ageing (NICA)
  • National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD)
  • National Institute for Health Research Innovation Observatory (NIHRIO)


  • 745t of fabricated and erected steelwork
  • Specialist diagrid construction
  • 7.5° wider top to base
  • 11 weeks completion time

“Despite its highly complex diagrid design, the fabrication and detailing for the National Innovation Centre was virtually flawless – this eliminated snagging time on-site. An astonishing feat for such an intricate structure.”

– John Brown, Director

Site photographer: James Thompson (UK Construction Photography)