Dave celebrates 50 years in the industry! by AMRIT NARU

When Senior Architectural Technician, Dave Stidwell, started work as a school leaver in 1968, measurements were in feet and inches, and technical drawings were still done by hand.

 Dave Stidwell, Senior Architectural Technician, C.A.Ross Design - with office dog, Monty!

Dave Stidwell, Senior Architectural Technician, C.A.Ross Design - with office dog, Monty!

With a passion for architecture and design, and a head for maths and problem-solving, Dave’s first job at the age of 16, was as a trainee technician for private architectural practice, Fred Hedley & Associates in Durham City, where he stayed for three years.

 The city of Durham, where Dave worked as a school leaver.

The city of Durham, where Dave worked as a school leaver.

This was followed by stints with other private practices and over 15 years in the public sector, working for Sunderland City and Sedgefield Councils in the planning and architectural departments.

Having initially gained a Higher National Certificate (HNC) to work as a draughtsman, Dave has embraced new skills and different ways of working along the way. This includes teaching himself Computer Aided Design (CAD) and keeping ahead of changing legislation and new building regulations.

Despite living in Singapore for a few years as a child, Dave was born and brought up in the Durham area, where he still lives with his wife Elizabeth.  He takes great delight in seeing projects come to fruition, from the initial concept and design stage to the finished article. He especially relishes working on buildings in his native North East.

I’ve been involved in the development of everything from schools and nursing homes to private housing schemes, major refurbishments and the conservation of listed buildings. I find my work really rewarding and it is great that my skills and 50 years of experience are so valuable to the team here at C.A. Ross Design.
— Dave Stidwell, C.A.Ross Design

Having joined C.A. Ross Design – formerly Naru and Ross Architects – in 2015, Dave has seen a lot of change throughout his fifty year career.  Director Carl Ross is delighted that Dave is such a respected member of the C.A. Ross Design team.

Our practice has successfully worked on a diverse architectural portfolio, including arts, commercial, ecclesiastical, healthcare, leisure, and residential assignments. As a result, we need employees who are flexible and have the experience to help bring these exciting projects to life.

Dave is a talented professional with sound technical knowledge. What’s more, he has the confidence and competence to use his own initiative, whether it’s preparing and presenting accurate technical design proposals; contributing to the detailed design process; carrying out site visits or preparing drawings, plans and documents for statutory approval.

We’re delighted he has worked in this field for 50 years and that he adds such value to our architectural practice. Dave is proof that there is longevity in the profession, if you are willing to expand your knowledge and keep your skills up to date.
— Carl Ross, Director, C.A.Ross Design

When he's not at work, Dave keeps himself busy working on his model railway and spending time with his three children, five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

Important change by AMRIT NARU

We want to let you know about an important change at Naru and Ross Architects.

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Due to health reasons, Amrit Naru has taken some time away from our practice. Although doing well, unfortunately Amrit will not be returning to us. We know that you will join us in wishing Amrit well for the future.

To reflect this change, as of 1 May 2018 we are now trading as C.A. Ross Design.

Full resources, systems and creativity are in place to ensure the continued smooth running of the business. If you have a particular concern or query, please speak to Carl Ross, Director, or another member of the team via the office on 01642 782888. Or contact us via email as follows:

• admin@carossdesign.co.uk
• studio1@carossdesign.co.uk
• studio2@carossdesign.co.uk
• carl@carossdesign.co.uk

Our office address and contact phone numbers remain the same. We have also switched to a new website address (www.carossdesign.co.uk), plus updated our Facebook and Twitter page names shortly.

Popular eatery re-opens after major refurbishment by AMRIT NARU

A popular bistro and cafe in the heart of Middlesbrough’s independent shopping quarter has re-opened following a major refurbishment. With help from Naru and Ross Architects, the new-look Baker Street Kitchen is now open after a major interior makeover.

 Image credit: client

Image credit: client

On the corner of Baker Street and Albert Road in Middlesbrough, the single storey restaurant has undergone a Scandi-rustic style transformation, as well as a new layout to the seating, service and washroom areas.

 Image credit: client

Image credit: client

Improvements to the main eating areas include banquet-style curved booths in bordeaux upholstery; timber cladding in rustic tones; high and low level loose bistro-style seating in complementary colourways; feature service counters and herringbone plank-style flooring. Indoor planting and hanging greenery have also been introduced to soften the overall look and create a roof-top terrace feel.

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Although there was nothing drastically wrong with the former interior, it lacked personality, felt cold to look at and echoed as the acoustics weren’t that great.

We wanted to give the interior a fresh modern look, whilst maximising the natural light and creating a more cosy and intimate atmosphere.
— Carl Ross, Director, Naru and Ross Architects
 Image credit: contractor

Image credit: contractor

As well as breathing new life into the interior, Baker Street Kitchen has extending its opening hours to capitalise on Middlesbrough’s thriving dining scene.

As well as the busy daytime trade, serving favourites such as homemade cakes, cookies, soups, breakfasts, daily specials, coffee and food to go, the restaurant is now open during the evenings and on Sundays to offer bistro and a la carte menus, overseen by a new head chef.

Baker Street Kitchen can be found at: Victoria House, 159 Albert Road, Middlesbrough TS1 2PX. It is open from 8am until 7pm from Monday to Thursday, until 9pm on Friday and Saturday and from 10am until 4pm on Sunday.

Work to start on purpose-built North East crematorium by AMRIT NARU

Work on a brand new multi million pound crematorium for the North East is to get underway. The state-of-the-art facility, plus associated landscaped memorial gardens, has been designed by Naru and Ross Architects on behalf of Dignity Plc, one of the largest providers of funeral services in the UK.

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With planning permission granted by Durham County Council, the new purpose-built facility will be situated on arable land close to a former brewery at Castle Eden in East Durham, just off the A19 dual carriageway.

Described as meeting the needs of mourners, but being sensitive to the locality, the £2.5m project will provide a low-level, green-roofed sandstone crematorium building with a link to a separate new-build chapel.  Both buildings will be concealed by grass mounding and discreet landscaping, with only a dressed stone flue rising above the low profile of the single-storey buildings.

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In addition to a new access road and car parking facilities, the three hectare site has been designed to lift the senses with peaceful far-reaching parkland views; beautifully landscaped gardens of remembrance; an ornamental pond and flexible contemplative serene spaces for private reflection.  

Our architectural brief was to provide sensitive facilities which support mourners through one of the most difficult times in their lives, as well as understanding that there are many stages of grief that follow the more formal service. These can include the desire for a tranquil place to visit and remember those who have passed away.
— Carl Ross, Director, Naru and Ross Architects
The crematorium is a much-needed facility and will provide a superior client service and visitor experience. Initially, we only expect two or three funerals per day, but services will be at hourly intervals to give mourners more time to pay a respectful farewell. We will be providing the latest audio visual system to enable families to personalise the service and there will be the facility to live-stream the funeral via the internet to relatives that cannot attend the service. The latest cremator technology will be installed that complies with all current environmental legislation and is similar to what we operate at our crematorium in Bishop Auckland.
— Steve Gant, Crematorium Director, Dignity Plc

Following a fairly lengthy planning approval period, the project has now reached the tendering stage to appoint a designated contractor. Work is expected to start in the spring, with completion scheduled for 2019.

Meet the boss! by AMRIT NARU

With a number of award-winning UK projects under his belt, chartered architect and director of Naru and Ross Architects, Carl Ross, loves transforming spaces in his native North East.

 Carl Ross, Director, Naru and Ross Architects.

Carl Ross, Director, Naru and Ross Architects.

Celebrating over twenty five years in the industry, including five years working under the umbrella of Naru and Ross Architects, Carl is reaping the rewards of building a business from the region outwards.

With an office base in a converted Victorian station waiting room on the outskirts of Yarm, Carl has worked hard to gain a credible local, regional and national reputation and has built the practice by recruiting other creative professionals from throughout the North East.

As a result Naru and Ross Architects has become a notable presence in providing an integrated architecture and interior design expertise for both commercial and private projects.

The company’s wide and varied portfolio includes: Sohe Asian Restaurant Bar and Grill and Haveli Indian Restaurant, both in Newcastle-upon-Tyne; The Crowne Plaza hotel in Gerrads Cross; a £6m rail-served steel distribution centre in Middlesbrough on behalf of AV Dawson and Tata Steel; The Bay Horse in Hurworth; Cena Trattoria and Muse Contintental Cafe in Yarm; St Therese of Lisieux new build church in Ingleby Barwick and conservation projects in privately owned listed buildings such as Sockburn Hall near Darlington.

 The Bay Horse, Hurworth

The Bay Horse, Hurworth

Against this backdrop, Carl has maintained a vibrant, down-to-earth approach to his work. His passion for great building design, reinventing space and re-imagining interiors runs deep.

After completing a degree in architecture at Newcastle University, and with an eye for detail and a love of drawing, Carl has an enviable ability to visualise new spaces from a totally blank canvas.

I sketch constantly and am a prolific doodler - even in meetings. Luckily, I turned my creativity into a successful career in architecture!
— Carl Ross, Director, Naru and Ross Architects
 And in his spare time: one of Carl's vintage motorcar restoration projects.

And in his spare time: one of Carl's vintage motorcar restoration projects.

Running your own practice involves a lot of hard graft and working long hours. However, I wouldn’t want to change a thing. When I do get some time off, I’m happy to work on my other passion: restoring vintage motorcars.
— Carl Ross, Director, Naru and Ross Architects

 

 

 

Plans for new boxing facility pack a punch! by AMRIT NARU

One of the region’s top boxing clubs has unveiled ambitious plans for a knock-out new purpose-built facility in the centre of Redcar.

With help from Naru and Ross Architects, Redcar Amateur Boxing Club has submitted plans to the local authority for a new-build timber frame structure to replace the club’s outdated facilities within Coatham Memorial Hall in Redcar.

 Architectural impression of the new facility

Architectural impression of the new facility

If approved, the new scheme will see the existing rooms demolished and replaced with a new two-storey building. The new design will incorporate: two boxing rings and a spectator gallery, plus areas for punch bag, skipping, weight training, gym and shadow boxing work. There will also be new changing room and toilet facilities to the ground and first floor.

For continuity, some existing bricks and architectural lintels from the old facade will be re-used and incorporated into the hard landscape of the new design.

The popular club, which was set up by former boxer Frankie Wales in 1998 to get young people off the streets and steer them away from drugs and crime, now has over 280 members, including male and female boxers of all ages and abilities. In addition to working with youngsters, the club also supports the unemployed, new business start-ups and the wider community through various motivational projects.

As well as proving popular with local people, Redcar Amateur Boxing Club has won numerous regional awards and attracted interest from MPs and The Prince of Wales.

Our boxing club started out in an empty space above a saleroom in Redcar. When the building closed, we spent six months having to train on the beach and surrounding area. After that we moved to Coatham Memorial Hall, which was very rundown and had been mothballed at the time, but we asked to rent it.

It took a lot of hard work and favours to make the hall watertight and useable. The building has certainly served its purpose over the years. As well as boxing, it is a hub for all sorts of community groups and activities. However, as the boxing element has grown, our requirements have changed. We desperately need a purpose-built home of our own. If approved, the new building will benefit even more people from the local community.
— Frankie Wales, founder and chairman, Redcar Amateur Boxing Club
We are delighted to be involved in this exciting community project which will give Redcar Amateur Boxing Club its own permanent base. As well as providing a state of the art boxing facility, the building will continue to support the local area. Coupled with Frankie’s drive and enthusiasm, the new base will facilitate all sorts of boxing events as well as encouraging local people to get involved and fulfill their potential.
— Carl Ross, director, Naru and Ross Architects

Now that the application has been officially lodged with the local authority, it is hoped that a favourable decision will be reached by the autumn of this year. If so, work will start on site before the end of 2017, with the build expected to be completed within 12 months. A fundraising drive, plus grants, will help pay for the new facility.

Restoration of Grade II* Listed Jacobean Hall - Plus Award Nomination! by AMRIT NARU

It's been so rewarding to be involved with this historic project. We're delighted to have been leading a two-year restoration project, on behalf of a private client, to transform Sockburn Hall, near Darlington, from a derelict building into a family home.

 The major restoration of Grade II* Listed Sockburn Hall is nearing completion - July 2017  

The major restoration of Grade II* Listed Sockburn Hall is nearing completion - July 2017  

Our brief was to preserve and breathe new life into this dormant 1830’s Grade II* Listed Jacobean hall, which comes with its own stretch of river and a ruined Grade I Listed chapel. This was quite a challenge!  As at 2008, increasing levels of decay saw the Hall and chapel, put on the ‘Heritage at Risk' register by English Heritage. Darlington Borough Council also added the associated coach house and stables to its local ‘at risk’ register.

 Work in progress to preserve the external skin of the building.

Work in progress to preserve the external skin of the building.

 To show the extent of the work. Before....

To show the extent of the work. Before....

 ....and after!

....and after!

 Bedroom prior to restoration

Bedroom prior to restoration

 Original oak panelling (prior to restoration) - regarded as one of the best examples of its type in the whole of the UK.

Original oak panelling (prior to restoration) - regarded as one of the best examples of its type in the whole of the UK.

 This image shows just some of the exterior damage.

This image shows just some of the exterior damage.

Working closely with Darlington Borough Council, Historic England and specialist conservation consultants, we have overseen the preservation of the external skin of the two-storey building, along with its three bays, attic spaces and shaped gables. High level repairs have also been carried out to the roof, building interior and outbuildings. A full-time specialist stone mason was employed throughout the duration of the project to restore the stone work, including window sills and chimneys. Painstaking preservation of the original oak panelling, regarded as one of the best examples of its type in the UK, is also being completed by a specialist restorer.
— Carl Ross, Director, Naru and Ross Architects

The historic hall, which was in danger of collapse and on the ‘Heritage at Risk’ register, has now been put forward for a prestigious ‘Historic England Angel Award,’ following the extensive restoration work. We'll post more photos and news about the award in due course! 

 Due to our involvement with the Sockburn Hall restoration project, we were sent this fascinating photo from a gentleman in Australia. He was delighted to hear about the restoration of the hall as his great-grandfather was the gamekeeper for the Sockburn Estate in the early 1900’s!

Due to our involvement with the Sockburn Hall restoration project, we were sent this fascinating photo from a gentleman in Australia. He was delighted to hear about the restoration of the hall as his great-grandfather was the gamekeeper for the Sockburn Estate in the early 1900’s!

Listed Building Consent - When and How? by AMRIT NARU

Did you know that carrying out work to a listed building without consent is technically a criminal offence? That is why it is important to have a good understanding of what does, and what does not, require consent.

Supported by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), this North East seminar will explore listed building consent requirements and the procedures in achieving them, through the use of RIBA Plan of Work 2013.

Date: Thursday 5 October 2017

Time: 2.00pm-4.30pm

Where:  Gateshead Council, Civic Centre, Gateshead NE8 1HH

Price:

  • RIBA Non-member - £106.80 (£89 + VAT)
  • RIBA Student member - £18 (£15 + VAT)
  • RIBA Member - £74.40 (£62 + VAT)

Tickets and information:

To find out more, or to book your place, visit: https://www.architecture.com/whats-on/listed-building-consent-when-do-you-need-it-and-how-do-you-get-it-gateshead

Tel: 0191 261 7441

Email: kate.aldred@riba.org