Amberley Citadel

Killingworth, Ryder and Yates 1967

The two high-rise office blocks forming the Amberley Building were built in 1967 for Northumberland County Council, and formed the first part of the Citadel, as the town centre of the new Killingworth Township was to be known.

Six floors of offices were raised above the pedestrian deck, which served the shopping area of the town centre, and was linked via a pedestrian bridge to adjacent public housing. The structure was a composite system of steel and concrete with a flat glass facade, the use of air conditioning negating the need for opening windows. The colour of the window glass was carefully matched to the brown aluminium enamelled spandrel panels to present a single face rather than the individual panel arrangement at Norgas House.

At ground level, the 15 m high columns, finished in black and split by a central rainwater pipe, were extended through the podium to the second floor. A feature was a concealed boiler house which was denoted externally only by a composition of earth sculpture, three white chimneys and two rectilinear ‘conning towers’.

All images courtesy of Photo-mayo studio