The Auckland Project

Winner of the prestigious RIBA North East Building of the Year 2024 and the Conservation Award, Auckland Castle, Tower and Faith Museum project is an outstanding example of sustainable and contemporary architecture.


  • Location: Durham

  • Time: 2018

  • Architect: Niall McLaughlin

  • Type of Wood: European Larch

  • Type of Sioo:x: SiOO:X Light-Grey Pigmented Wood Protection


The mighty Prince Bishops of Durham resided at Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland, County Durham. Few places in Britain have been home to men of such immense power and influence.


The Auckland Project is of national significance and captures the imagination in restoring the 900 year old castle as part of a multi-million pound conservation programme. Centred in and around the castle the project includes a Spanish Gallery and restaurant, Faith Museum, Mining Art Gallery, reimagined Walled Garden and Deer Park.


A stunning, iconic building designed by the award winning architectural practice Niall McLaughlin marks the gateway to the project. Comprising a 30 metre high tower designed to look like a seige engine – a portable tower that in time of war was pushed against the stone walls of a castle by enemies who were wanting to invade – together with a galleried welcome building, the Auckland Tower was opened on the 20th October 2018. It provides spectacular views from a 15 metre high viewing platform.



Auckland Tower was manufactured and built by Inwood Developments. The finely engineered structure was manufactured using European Larch glulam beams erected on site from mid 2017 to mid 2018. Sioo Wood Protection are immensely proud that their SiOO:X Light-Grey Pigmented Wood Protection system was specified and used to provide the timber protection and decorative finish for this challenging inspirational project.

The external timber doors and windows and shutter screens are also treated with the same SiOO:X Protection system.



The Auckland Tower and Welcome building is the most complete example of SiOO:X at work on a building composed of a multiplicity of wooden forms – large scale columns and beams, window frames, door structures, cladding and rain screens. The gallery pictures show how the SiOO:X treatment responds to different light, bringing the structure to life in a spectacular manner in sunlight and also how the natural grey colouring compliments the colours of the materials in the townscape. The structure as shown in the gallery pictures had been exposed to harsh winter conditions during the construction period in 2017/2018.

Other bespoke projects


Ashton Gate Training Grounds


Monachyle Beag


Watson House Annexe

Please select Pro or Consumer
Pro For businesses and architects
Consumer For businesses and architects