The brief for the new high tech tombola headquarters was to provide the best possible working environment for employees and maximise the stunning views over the River Wear and beyond to the Port of Sunderland.

Throughout the design process it was important the contemporary building complemented the existing context of the quayside, providing a lasting link to the city’s proud shipbuilding heritage.

The new 25,000sqft building, designed by Ryder Architecture, creates a riverside campus incorporating new and old with an external landscaped area which celebrates the unique riverside.

The ground floor includes a reception area, bistro and gym with bleacher seating leading up to the contemporary offices on the upper floors. The open plan offices include a three storey central atrium and make pioneering commercial use of electrochromic glass – smart glass which changes and responds to external brightness ensuring energy efficiency and comfort for the building occupants.

The building promotes a cultural shift in office design through the delivery of sleek, modern and desirable space - one that truly promotes collaboration and activity based working amongst its employees, linking them with their internal and external environment.

As a leading tech company it has been important to us to design a high spec and technologically advanced building to provide the best possible working environment for all our employees.

Phil Cronin, tombola's CEO


As the high spec design evolved, it was agreed that the striking roof pitches to the feature glazed east elevation should not to be diluted with any internal and external shading systems. With virtually all of tombola’s employees working at a monitor or screen, mitigating glare is essential. Following extensive research, SageGlass, a product of Saint-Gobain, met all ambitions from an aesthetic perspective as well as offering significant performance benefits in terms of energy use and comfort.

The glass is a dynamic and intelligent electrochromic material which tints in response to the brightness of the sun. There are four states of transparency and in its darkest state when viewed externally the east elevation will dramatically reflect the new landscaped campus and the existing Grade II listed Rose Line building.


Navigate the 3D model of the Tombola building using the interactive display above

(3D technology powered by Autodesk Forge)

Research shows people with views and a connection to the outdoors have 10 to 25% mental function improvement in an office environment. Those with access to natural daylight are 18% more productive. This data allows personal settings to be programmed centrally by tombola enabling them to control the working environment by letting in as much or as little visible light and heat as desired, while minimising glare.

Ronnie Graham, director at Ryder Architecture said, “It’s great to see our vision for tombola campus beginning to take shape. The collaboration between architecture and engineering has been a huge success on this project and is celebrated through the innovative design, materials and controls in the building”.

How the interior of tombola's new headquarters will look


About the #FutureBuildings exhibition

Create your own building of the future and try out technologies that are breaking the boundaries of what’s possible in construction. Our Future Buildings exhibition runs from 22nd June to 9th September as part of the Great Exhibition of the North. 

Find out more

Visit the Ryder Architecture website
Visit the tombola website