Stephenson House

Killingworth, Ryder and Yates 1969

Stephenson House, a speculative office building designed for the Northern Gas Board Trustees for multi-occupation, was constructed in 1969 on a site opposite Norgas House and was named in honour of the railway pioneer George Stephenson, who moved to Killingworth in 1804.

The design was a simple two-storey block but, like Norgas House, it was elevated off the ground on columns around a central courtyard.

The main approach from the car park to the west was by a flight of steps, extending the full length of the building and descending into a brick-lined entrance court with a central blue mosaic pool. From this area five points of entry were available, either by stairs contained in the four corner service towers, or centrally by a ramp bridging the pool.

The offices were devised on a 1.2 m grid, setting the pattern for the structure and a fenestration of heavy concrete panels serving as heating ducts and designed to react slowly to temperature changes, with windows reduced to deeply recessed strip glazing to prevent solar gain.

The building was demolished in 2013.

All images courtesy of Henk Snoek / RIBA Library Photographs Collection