Business & Invest | Published on: 15th February 2021
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has revealed what the iconic Steel House at Teesworks will look like under plans to transform the building as part of the wider site redevelopment.
Once the home of British Steel Corporation’s Teesside headquarters, the 220,000sq ft of redundant office space will be transformed under plans put forward by Mayor Houchen. It will become the base for the development for the whole 4,500-acre Teesworks site, the UK’s largest industrial zone.
The lower floors will provide services for the people who work on the redevelopment of the former Redcar steelworks, including a creche, coffee shop and gym, with upper floors providing office space.
The new-look building keeps the original structure intact but dramatic cladding, artificial external lighting and additional windows and light wells will bring it into the 21st century, signalling the cutting-edge industries the site will attract.
As well as the building itself, the landscape around Steel House will be carefully redeveloped to provide impressive scenic grounds that will incorporate areas for outdoor eating, relaxation and exercise.
As part of the work around 20 jobs will be created during its first phase, with applications being managed through the Teesworks Skills Academy. Interest can be registered at teesworks.co.uk/skills-academy. Mayor Houchen will submit plans to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council in the coming weeks, with work getting under way at the beginning of next month.
Mayor Houchen said: “These designs show a revitalised Steel House that respects the region’s steel and ironmaking heritage but also looks to the future and highlights the importance of Teesworks as a modern, forward-thinking industrial area.
“We have always been keen to incorporate, where we could, some key elements of the existing site into our bold new vision. When we looked into it further, it was a no-brainer that Steel House should be saved. Once renovated, it will sit proudly alongside our new gatehouse which will soon be completed, ready to give would-be investors a warm, impressive welcome.
“I have made it a priority that the redevelopment of the Teesworks site benefits local firms from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, and the transformation of Steel House is no different, with the design work for the redevelopment been done by Darlington-based architects Corstorphine + Wright. It’s not just about construction firms, as important as they are, it’s also about supporting the fantastic professional services we have across the region.”
Tom Harrison, Associate Director of architects Corstorphine + Wright, said: “Corstorphine + Wright Architects are delighted to be working with Teesworks and the Mayor in the redevelopment of the former British Steel Headquarter building, Steel House, near Redcar. The project offers the opportunity to transform the much-maligned, but iconic, 1970s office building and create a ‘beacon’ for the future development of the Teesworks site.
“As a long-established Architectural Practice in the Tees Valley, Corstorphine + Wright recognise and understand the importance of the redevelopment of Steel House, and the wider Teesworks site, to the social and economic success of the region and are proud to be involved.
“Alongside the work at Steel House, Corstophine + Wright are also assisting the Combined Authority with the transformation of the Terminal Building at Teesside International Airport. Again, the Practice recognises the crucial importance of the project to the future economic development of the Tess Valley region and are delighted to be working with the Teesworks teams.”
Jacob Young MP and Kate Willard OBE, co-chairs of the Teesworks Heritage Taskforce, said: “We’re delighted to see that this iconic building is being saved and rejuvenated as part of Teesworks’ redevelopment. These designs breathe new life into the structure which holds fond memories for the thousands of people who have worked there over the years.
“We have been working with the Mayor to stress the importance of keeping those assets on site that are commercially viable and possible to renovate. It is important to ensure that buildings like Steel House and their rich and strong heritage, help forge a dynamic future for the site and the surrounding communities.
“We really can’t wait to see how these designs become a reality.”
Steel House was opened in June 1978 as British Steel Corporation’s headquarters at Redcar. It served as the main offices for workers on the former SSI site and remains one of the area’s key landmarks.
The final time the public saw inside the building came when it was used as the location for the press conference to announce the mothballing of the SSI site in September 2015. Just one month later, on October 2, came the news that the Redcar steelworks was to shut permanently. This led to the loss of 2,000 jobs and many more in supply chains, devastating individuals, families and communities.
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