Tyne and Wear HER(15121): Killingworth, Comet Row, Northern Gas Training College - Details
Killingworth, Comet Row, Northern Gas Training College
By Ryder and Yates. Built in 1971. Provided instruction and training facilities for Gas Board employees. The building included lecture rooms, offices, workshops, a canteen and external training compound. The lecture rooms, offices and workshops were grouped in a single-storey rectilinear block which could be vertically extended with extra floors if necessary. The canteen and plant rooms were in a separate block linked by a glazed corridor. The elevated main entrance was flanked by blue mosaic-lined pools. This building is single-storey with an exposed steel portal frame with brick infill panels. The open sided compound for external training was covered with a galvanised steel deck. The site had included ventilation shafts and galleries from Killingworth Colliery (West Moor Pit). The main shaft was rafted over and other cavities were in-filled with concrete. In case of the need for remedial work needed in response to subsidence, the building had a pin-based steel portal frame. A hard blue brindle engineering brick was used on the exterior and interior communal areas. The external steel structures and external doors were grey. The glazing to the classrooms was dark grey and flush to the façade. On the roof of the plant room there were sculptural tanks and flues enclosed in panelling. The façade of the plant room was made up of louvred steel panels. The building won several awards - the Galvanizing Design Award in 1970, Structural Steel Design Awards for both Architects and Steelwork in 1971, and the Financial Times Commendation in 1971. Once the Northern Gas Company vacated the building, it was occupied by the offices of a computer company. The interior and windows have been altered. The building is proposed for demolition in 2012.
Rutter Carroll, 2009, Ryder and Yates - Twentieth Century Architects, pp 75-80; Architects Journal, 8 September 1971, pp 510-511; Bauen & Wohnen, August 1972, pp 364-6; Deutche Bauzeitung, October 1973; Architects Journal, May 1974; Rutter Carroll, 2012, Ryder (RIBA Publishing); Alan Williams Archaeology, 2012, Developments at Comet Row, West Moor, Killingworth - Archaeological Assessment