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Celebrating 140 years

CELEBRATIONS have been under way throughout 2019 as Kettering-based firm, GSSArchitecture, celebrate their 140th anniversary. This exceptional achievement makes GSS one of the longest established architectural practices in the country.

Founded in 1879 by distinguished architect and scholar John A. Gotch, the practice saw rapid growth, and in 1887 Gotch invited architect Charles Saunders to join him in a growing partnership.

In 1899, Henry Ralph Surridge joined the practice as an office junior, and in 1930 he was made a Partner. It was at this time that the practice took on the name Gotch, Saunders and Surridge (GSS).

With an impressive history, GSS have ensured they remain key players within the world of architecture both locally and across the country. Operating from five offices nationwide, they offer a broad range of services including architectural design, lead consulting and masterplanning.

The in-house graphics division, 3DLabs, offers virtual reality, animation, 3D printing, iOS applications and web design. The recent introduction of 3DLabs has enabled GSS to broaden their services and provide clients with exciting new ways to bring their vision to life.

GSSArchitecture are looking forward to adapting to the ever changing needs of future clients and remaining at the forefront of technology, providing cost effective, environmentally conscious buildings on time and on budget.

Volunteering initiative gathers pace

To help mark such a significant milestone, all staff at GSSArchitecture have been taking part in an initiative called Volunteer 140, which is a commitment to undertake a total of 140 hours of volunteering across the five regions where the practice is based.

So far staff have carried out over 70 hours of voluntary work, helping out various local charities and trusts in each region.

The Harrogate office dug out their gardening gloves to lend a hand at Henshaws Specialist College in Harrogate ahead of their special event on Mother’s Day. The team assisted with various activities including gardening and landscaping. Henshaws is a northern charity supporting people living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities.

Back in May staff from the Newcastle studio got involved with the Ouseburn Trust’s Clean Green initiative by assisting with the general maintenance of local parks. The Ouseburn parks are no longer maintained by the City Council, so the trust relies on the help of volunteers to cut back overgrown areas, litter pick and assist with planting flowers.

Staff from the Kettering office recently spent the day at Animals in Need in Little Irchester. After taking some of the resident dogs for a walk, the team helped out around the site feeding various animals and cleaning the premises.

In addition to their volunteering initiative, GSS are also participating in numerous charity events throughout 2019. In September staff will be taking part in the Staff Challenge which consists of either a 140-mile bike ride or a 17-mile walk along Hadrian’s Wall. As well as the Staff Challenge a number of staff from the Newcastle office will be partaking in the Great North Run. All money raised through sponsorship will be donated to the practice’s 2019 Charity Partner MIND (The Mental Health Charity).


National architects with a local heritage

Over the years GSS have been involved with many high profile projects within Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties. These have included schemes for The Roadmender, Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, Northampton General Hospital, Kettering General Hospital, Weetabix, The Althorp Estate, Kelmarsh Hall and Rockingham Castle.

In addition to the above, GSS also has a large portfolio of projects carried for local schools, colleges and universities such as Maplefields Academy in Corby, Royal Latin School in Buckingham and Moulton College, where they were commissioned to design the swimming pool which is now used for training by Paralympian, Ellie Simmons. Malcolm Arnold Academy in Northampton, The National College of Motor Sport at Tresham College, Stamford School and the University of Northampton are also clients of GSS.

The Kettering office is currently working as architects, lead consultants and principal designers for the exciting refurbishment and remodelling of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. This scheme will provide an extension into the former Gaol Block on Angel Street, which was initially part of the museum until being sold off and, until recently, was used as council offices.

The project, due for completion in late 2019, will be open to the public in early 2020 and will provide a welcome boost to Northampton town centre.

GSS also have been commissioned recently to design a new Innovation Centre which will form part of the Catesby Aero Research Facility project (CARF). This is a unique project based around a disused railway tunnel in Northamptonshire which will become a worldwide benchmark for aerodynamic testing, capable of providing accurate and affordable full-scale aerodynamic performance data.

The Catesby Research and Innovation Centre will provide SMEs with the facilities and advice that they need to develop ideas into pre-production products that can be tested at vehicle level.

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