The On-line Inspection Centre at Cramlington was unique in Ryder and Yates’s work in that it was located within the shell of an existing building. The building was a former weaving shed, of two broad bays with a pitched, double-gabled roof. However, British Gas was sensitive of the modern image created by the highly successful ERS and wanted to impart something of this to the older building.
It was needed for the manufacture of one-tonne electrical robots that would travel through the pipelines identifying faults and corrosion. The large uninterrupted floor area of the former weaving sheds, naturally top lit, was perfect for the mass production of these robots.
By the construction of a new office and computer complex, linked by a glass corridor to the existing factory, the great visual mass of the sheds was broken up. A circular entrance court in front of this glass link and a glass-fronted restaurant in front of the exposed twin gables, completed the accommodation and introduced a formal modern imagery.
All images courtesy of Photo-mayo studio