The Keys, Darlington

The former Mechanics Institute of Skinnergate, November 2014

Project Summary

On November 28 2014, one of Darlington’s most iconic properties re-opened it’s doors as an upmarket restaurant and nightclub. The former Mechanics Institute of Skinnergate has undergone a multi-million pound renovation to be transformed into The Keys.

The Darlington Mechanics Institute was officially opened on September 01 1854. At its peak, the Mechanics Institute lay claim to over 400 members and housed over 3,000 books. As times progressed the importance and popularity of the Mechanics Institute decreased, and by the first half of the twentieth century it was used primarily as a social venue.

Over the years, the building has served a number of purposes. Until recently the impressive building has stood unused and empty. The Keys refurbishment is set to restore the Mechanics Institute building to it’s former glory; once again bringing it forward as one of Darlington’s architectural treasures.

This project has seen the iconic façade of the Victorian building restored, as well as the improvements to the entrance to allow easier access.

Parsec were approached by Cleveland Cable Properties and Investments to support the design team as they undertook this impressive project.

Our team were tasked with carrying out detailed designs for the building’s mechanical and electrical HVAC services and systems.

Being a historical building, the designs needed to ensure that the new systems wouldn’t impact on the permanent fixtures of the building.

Shaun Ackerley

Managing Directpr, Parsec Consulting Engineers

An Iconic Building Revived

Thermal Modelling & Carbon Calculations

Completed to ensure that the building will perform efficiently but still comply with statutory building regulations.

Specialist Modelling Software

Enabled us to make sure that The Keys carbon emissions are minimised without compromising the comfort levels for it’s patrons.

The historical presence of the former Mechanics Institute has made working on this project a privilege for our team. Before the renovation, the building was in a bad state of repair, so it’s fantastic to have this investment made to revive such an iconic building.


Interested In Working With Us?