Norgas House

Killingworth, Ryder and Yates 1965

In Killingworth New Town the architects saw the bleak site of disused mine shafts and wasteland slough as an exciting challenge to bring an architectural response to a brand new landscape. They seized the opportunity for drama by making use of Modernist tropes that had been experimented with previously in their exhibition designs. They were now able to apply them on a huge scale – the Minoan Horns adorning the restaurant roof and later the colossal entrance pylon to ERS. The offices were located on two floors around a central courtyard and raised above the ground on pilotis, providing space for extension under the building. The entrance hall, reception, auditorium and plant room were on the ground floor, together with a linked restaurant building and caretakers flat. Norgas House was fully air conditioned with warm air heating to the restaurant block and under-slab heating outside of the main entrance to prevent ice forming in winter. The glazed plant room was given pride of place, adjacent to the main entrance so that the three gas boilers were clearly displayed to visitors. The Minoan horns and a number of internal features were removed in a comprehensive refurbishment in 1990, the building being finally demolished in 2013.

All images courtesy of Photo-mayo studio