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Ryder and Yates offices awarded grade II listing

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The former base of modernist North East architectural practice Ryder and Yates has won grade II listing from English Heritage.

A single-storey steel-framed building, faced with pre-cast concrete and incorporating ribbon glazing, the office was built in 1964-5 in Killingworth, north of Newcastle Upon Tyne.

English Heritage said the structure was an ‘elegant building’ with a strong character derived from its ‘clean crisp lines’ that reflected the influence of Le Corbusier and Berthold Lubetkin.

It said the building’s form and internal arrangements demonstrated Ryder and Yates’ multidisciplinary approach to design – and was the only one of the practice’s buildings specifically designed to prevent rather than enable expansion, in order to limit staff numbers.

The conservation body added that as well as being an innovative structure, the currently vacant building  was ‘a rare surviving example of a purpose-built post-war architects’ office’.

The Twentieth Century Society applauded the decision, but added that the building was deteriorating and under ‘imminent threat’ of demolition.

Conservation adviser Clare Price said the grade II status would aid ongoing efforts by the Tyne and Wear Building Property Trust to raise funds to purchase the building.

‘This is a great result: The listing of this unique building will help to ensure that a beneficial new use can be found and funds raised to repair the fabric,’ she said.

‘Ryder and Yates were a prolific practice in the North East, many of whose buildings have sadly been demolished in recent years.’

‘The success of their designs is clear from the fact that this building is exactly as Ryder and Yates left it.’

Gordon Ryder and Peter Yates met in 1948 while working for Berthold Lubetkin on the planning of Peterlee New Town.

They founded their practice five years later.

Key buildings for the practice include the grade II listed Engineering Research Station, built at Killingworth for British Gas.

The Engineering Research Station in Killingworth, North Tyneside

Source: Andrew Curtis

The Engineering Research Station

The Ryder and Yates offices were built on the periphery another of the practice’s projects – the now-demolished Norgas House, which was designed as the headquarters of the Northern Gas Board Trustees.

Peter Yates died in 1982 and the practice became known as Ryder.

Gordon Ryder died in 2000, and Ryder Architecture moved out of the building in 2002.

English Heritage said the Ryder and Yates offices’ last occupant was a computer firm.

Engineering Research Station

Source: English Heritage

Ryder and Yates’ grade II listed Engineering Research Station in Killingworth, which was built for British Gas.


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