Excellence award for commercial project by AMRIT NARU

A unique £6.5m rail-served steel store, designed by Naru and Ross  on behalf of multi-modal distribution company AV Dawson in conjunction with TATA Steel, has been crowned Northern Winner in the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence Awards.

    Located on a former brownfield site which had been vacant for 50 years, the 102,000 sq ft warehouse at AV Dawson’s Riverside Park site in Middlesbrough supports the needs of the North East’s Steel and Automotive industries.


Located on a former brownfield site which had been vacant for 50 years, the 102,000 sq ft warehouse at AV Dawson’s Riverside Park site in Middlesbrough supports the needs of the North East’s Steel and Automotive industries.

Rather than focusing on aesthetics, the LABC Building Awards recognise technical innovation, sustainability, high performance and creative solutions.  Judges named the steel store winner of the ‘Best Large Commercial Building’ thanks to factors such as its heat and humidity controlled environment, intelligent lighting and the high level of sensitivity to the local environment.

Our brief for the design was to enable our clients to meet ‘just-in-time’ manufacturing demands, whilst providing a humidity controlled environment which is capable of handling and storing up to 58,000 tonnes of steel coil. The store even features a rail track running directly into it from Middlesbrough Goods Yard.
— Carl Ross, Director, Naru and Ross
We knew the structure needed to include elements such as an innovative air handling dehumidification system to prevent condensation to ensure the steel is kept in pristine condition. In addition, we were able to incorporate ground source heat pumps driven by solar panels to supply heat and power.
— Amrit Naru, Director, Naru and Ross

The store will enable more than 270,000 tonnes of steel a year to arrive by rail from TATA Steel in Port Talbot, South Wales, before eventually heading by road to Sunderland-based car giant Nissan on the back of AV Dawson’s specialist trailers.

As winner in the Best Large Commercial Building category, the design for state of the art building will progress to the LABC Grand Finals which are being held in London later this year.

Jewel in the crown by AMRIT NARU

Historic stained glass, executed by a talented master craftsman who has designed windows for Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, are to be reinstated into one of our current projects.

St Therese Lisieux Church in Ingleby Barwick, which is currently under construction, will feature a number of glass panels created by esteemed artist Alfred Fisher MBE. Once chief designer for Whitefriars of London, Fisher built his reputation through a stained glass technique called ‘Dalle de Verre,’ derived from the French for ‘glass slab’. The art form relies on dalles being broken or cut into pieces and set into an epoxy base.

The glass panels, which date from the 1960s, were reclaimed from the site of St John of Gods Chapel during the hotel and golf course development project at Rockliffe Hall near Darlington.  Having used some of the panels as a backdrop to the hotel spa, Rockliffe Hall has donated the remaining panels to the Diocese of Middlesbrough to be incorporated into the new build church at Ingleby Barwick.

Construction work on the new church began in May 2015 and is due for completion in 2016.

Our brief for the new Catholic church and presbytery was to create a bright area for worship, plus space for parish celebrations, areas for meetings and children’s liturgy. As Dalle de Verre technique is renowned for creating ‘living environments,’ thanks to the exceptionally bright colours, it is very fitting that we have been able to incorporate these glass panels into our design which will be enjoyed by the local community for many years to come.
— Carl Ross, Director, Naru and Ross

Restaurant and Bar Design Awards 2015 by AMRIT NARU

The current ‘foody’ and hospitality culture means that when it comes to eating and drinking out, there are a lot of amazing places out there. Not just in the UK, but right across the globe.  As you can imagine, eating and drinking is no longer confined to standalone restaurants, bars and cafes. Everywhere from museums and galleries through to airports and atriums now compete for cuisine savvy customers.

We’re therefore thrilled that one of our architectural and interior design projects, Sohe Newcastle, is featured among the ‘best of the best’ in the forthcoming Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. These awards are the world’s only event dedicated exclusively to the design of food and drink spaces.  With over 3,800 entries from the UK and 70 other countries in the past six years, the Awards attract the world’s top designers, hospitality operators and judges.

Our brief for Sohe was to design a bold and progressive pan-Asian bar, restaurant and private dining facility independent from the adjoining hotel. In particular, we were tasked with creating an opulent, yet relaxed, vibe.

The challenge was turning an existing tired and ‘boxy’ function room into a workable, visionary space, including overcoming the issues of the existing structure and its services. By re-inventing the space we looked at incorporating distinct yet cohesive zones: a cocktail bar area, a private dining facility; restaurant capable of over 80 covers and a fully functional open plan kitchen.

The result is individual yet unified areas, each with their own decadent vibe. The ambitious futuristic circular island cocktail bar is imposing, yet welcoming. With its crisp white marble tops and undulating gilt ceiling to floor mushroom-like sculpture, the bar features shimmering opulent mosaic tiles inset with real gold pieces.

The adjacent open plan dining area with its solid wood parquet effect flooring, features different coloured woods. Views into the open kitchen at the heart of the restaurant allow diners to get up close and personal to the head chef and his team at work. Bold patterned coffered ceilings complement the flooring.  The secluded, light-filled and leafy private dining area has planted walls. A cosy cave area with suede booths and feature wall lights provides a relaxed intimate atmosphere. Restrooms have also been given the 5 star treatment with ultra modern fixtures, shimmering chrome tiles and ‘selfie-friendly’ lighting! 

The 2015 Awards ceremony will be held in London on October 1st 2015 - wish us luck!