Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

City of Nottingham (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SK 54974 36919




II* THANE ROAD 646-1/6/10000 Boots D90 Headquarters Building.

Shall be replaced by:- THANE ROAD 646-1/6/10000 Boots D90 West Headquarters Building 28-AUG-1996


Headquarters office building. 1966-8 by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, chief architect Bruce Graham; with Yorke Rosenberg Mardall, chief architect Brian Henderson. Altered and re-furbished 1999-2000.

MATERIALS: Zinc-sprayed matt-black welded steel frame, of 13 96ft. bays with 5ft. deep steel lattice trusses. Independent first floor reinforced concrete slab supported on columns. Flat roof with no visible plant.

PLAN: Rectangular plan with internal courtyard.

EXTERIOR: Two storeys, the (narrower) lower one set into fill except at the main entrance, and lit by the internal courtyard that is an integral part of the composition. The exterior is a remarkable composition of Miesian purity. The upper storey only is visible, set in a man-made and gently sloping raised landscape. The building is set back behind a projecting cornice and cruciform-beam columns, four per side and making for a particularly powerful corner composition. The white marble sill reads as a plinth when seen at a distance. The original glazing is set between full-height mullions at 5ft. intervals. The courtyard elevation similarly treated, but of double height, with the white sill detail forming a first-floor band - its concrete construction and columnar support here visibly expressed.

INTERIOR: This is accessed via double doors on the lower floor, with a fully glazed screen to the former post room. A cantilevered dog-leg stair, with double lower flight and finely pre-cast concrete and steel balustrade, ascends to the main office floor. Beyond is the executive office and conference suite, retaining full-height dark timber partitions and doors of exceptional quality. The other three sides round the courtyard, are arranged as an open plan workspace. Venetian blinds serve as an extra sun screen. The surviving interior details were designed by the architects. The inner courtyard has a shallow reflecting pool edged with paving.

HISTORY: Boots D90 was an exceptionally prestigious office building, designed according to American out-of-town planning principles. Heinz, Hayes, LB Hillingdon (q. v.), was the first example in this genre, but Boots developed the idiom with greater sophistication, in the high-class welded steel made fashionable in the American Mid-West by Mies van der Rohe and developed further for corporate offices by Bruce Graham. The open-plan offices were daringly innovatory when first opened, incorporating oak 'carrels'( now removed ) - head-high units incorporating a desk and cupboards for every member of staff - set out according to the grid plan of the services,lighting etc,in the building. The building was extremely influential, as it saw the involvement of a British firm who were to become practitioners of refined welded steel structures in their own right, and it marked the way for a younger generation of architects (Foster and Rodgers were experimenting with steel at this time)to develop the 'high tech' steel office buildings for which Britain is now internationally-renowned. The building underwent refurbishment in 1999-2000, together with the addition of a new three-storey block to the east and a linking bridge. Neither the new block or the link bridge are of special interest and do not form part of the listed building.

SOURCES: Building, 17 January 1969, 3, 68-71. Architect's Journal, 22 January 1969, 212-13. Architecture East Midlands 19 (June-July 1968), 17. A. Powers, In the Line of Development (1992), 64-7. Twentieth Century Architecture 1 (1994), Vol. 1, 84-6.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION: The Boots D90 West Headquarters building is listed for the following principal reasons:

*It is an architecturally sophisticated, exceptionally prestigious office buidling designed on American out-of-town planning principles. * The interior open plan design was clearly innovative for its time. *It is seminal in the development of 'high tech' steel office buildings for which Britain is, and both architects are now, renowned internationally.

Listing NGR: SK5494836941


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 02 Sep 2007
Reference: IOE01/16941/14
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr Eric Ritchie. Source Historic England Archive
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