Industrial building known as D10 constructed for the Boots Pure Drug Co. in 1932 by Sir Evan Owen Williams.
Reasons for Designation
Building D10 at the Boots factory site, erected in 1932 to the designs of Sir Evan Owen Williams, is listed at Grade l for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: it is of international interest and is widely regarded as the most significant icon of British Modernism;
* Architect: it was designed by Williams, one of the most influential and innovative engineering architects of the C20;
* Historic Interest: it is an outstanding example of the 'daylight' factory model, on a scale not seen in England before;
* Group Value: strong group value with Buildings D6, listed at Grade l, D90, listed at Grade ll*, and D34, listed at Grade ll.
Jesse Boot, son of John Boot, of the Boots Pure Drug Co., now Boots UK, took the decision to construct a model factory in the 1920s and acquired 156 acres of land to the south of Beeston. In constructing his purpose-built factory Jesse Boot made direct reference to American corporate working models aimed at creating a modern industrial environment – spacious, light and healthy for the workers – alongside the introduction of efficient, process-driven design. The modular, extendable and process-driven scheme reflected the fast changing needs of industrial production. Such concepts of appropriateness and suitability for purpose – using the latest structural techniques and materials – were a driving force in the construction of D10, the wet processes factory (constructed 1930-32) and D6, the dry processes factory (constructed 1937-38), both designed by the civil engineer Sir Evan Owen Williams. D34, the site fire station, was also constructed in 1938 possibly to quell fires in the dry processes factory near which it sits, and also perhaps as a test model for the innovative construction of D6.
A two-storey extension to D10 was made at the east end shortly after completion in 1935. This was enlarged to four storeys c.1950, and around the same time a small extension was made to the fourth floor. A single-storey extension was added to the north-east corner in the 1990s. The building has been brought up to modern standards for working conditions, some modern partitions have been inserted where needed, laboratories and some warehousing has been converted for office and production use, respectively, and the original glazing has been replaced with modern Crittall glazing.
The building is composed of reinforced concrete with canted octagonal mushroom columns that carry continuous reinforced-concrete floor slabs. The building is surrounded by continuous glazed curtain walls.
The building has a rectangular plan and has cantilevered loading docks on each long side. Unloading and manufacturing were concentrated on the ground floors, with products stored higher up the building until ready for packaging and dispatch.
The building is of 4 storeys with a working basement under the south side of the building. The building was built with flexible extendible partitioning which could be taken down or put up as needed. The flat and multi-pitch concrete roof is inset with circular glass discs throughout. The cantilevers are supported by whaleback beams and there are deep, splayed cornices and eaves. The curtain walls have continuous metal framed glazing: the fenestration was modernised in the 1990s. Each side has 5 lift and stair enclosures, those to the south-east have hipped, glazed roofs. The west end has a central five-storey section containing lift towers and doors. The north side has metal and glazed concrete canopies.
The interior has multi-flight concrete cantilevered stairs from west end lift towers. There are four, east-facing rectangular, light wells forming a full-height atrium down the centre of the building, top-lit via glass disks set into the concrete roof. There are 4 walkway galleries around each well. On the south side of the building, three two-storey light wells are top-lit in the same way. The roof has concrete purlins and steel lattice girders. Other features are the glass domed roof at first floor level containing the perfumery area and metal frames for metal shoots, now lost, which were used to slide goods down to the lower floors. Some areas were converted for office and production use necessitating the introduction of modern partitions.
The front terrace has concrete slab, hard surfacing - some of the slabs replaced - with original entrance railings and two slender lamp stands with square, leaded shades. On the south-west side, towards the north-west corner of the building, a rail track exists under today’s road surface, that formerly entered the building, and on which a steam-charged train was used to dispatch products after processing.
The asset was previously listed twice also at List entry 1247646. This entry was removed from the List on 23/04/2015.