A little-altered, purpose-built bus garage, designed in a 'Moderne' style for the Barton Transport bus company and completed in 1939.
Reasons for Designation
The former bus garage at Nos 270-276 Huntingdon Street, Nottingham, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* as a well-preserved and distinctively-detailed example of inter-war transport architecture, designed in a 'Moderne' style rarely seen in surviving examples of the building type of this period;
* the building retains almost all of its original architectural and constructional detailing, including external decorative faience cladding and a complex lightweight steel roof structure designed to accomplish long, uninterrupted roof spans.
* the development of the building can be seen as part of, and a response to, the significant inter-war expansion of motor transport and the national road network, as experienced by a nationally significant bus company in a major urban context.
The former bus garage on Huntingdon Street, Nottingham was built for the Barton Transport bus company, and completed in 1939. The architect is believed to be HH Dawson. Huntingdon Street was developed in the 1930s as part of a road building programme for Nottingham which included an inner ring road on the northern and eastern edges of the city centre. Huntingdon Street was a new northern arterial road, and associated with its development were a number of new facilities, including a retail market, bus station and bus garage. The garage building incorporated ground floor shop units, parts of which were used as a ticket office.
The Barton Transport bus company founded in 1908 became one of the largest independent bus companies in England, operating throughout the East Midlands. The company was merged with the Trent bus company in 1989, becoming Trent Barton, and the Huntingdon Road garage eventually ceased being used as a bus transport site. The garage building was subsequently used as a car showroom, and has more recently been closed altogether.
An inter-war bus garage, completed in 1939 in a Moderne style for the Barton Transport bus company, to the designs of HH Dawson.
The building is roughly square on plan, with the principal entrance elevation facing onto Huntingdon Street.
The building is built of brick, with decorative faience cladding to the north-east elevation. The roof is formed of three parallel shallow double pitches supported by a complex mild steel trussed roof structure with a corrugated sheet roof covering.
The symmetrical entrance (north-east) elevation is composed of three sections, with two-storey advanced sections with curved ends flanking a recessed entrance section housing a wide entrance opening, formerly served by doors now replaced by a roller shutter. The walling to the flanking two-bay sections curves inwards to meet the recessed entrance area, and also curves around onto the side elevations for a short distance. Above the central entrance, the walling extends upwards above the roof line of the flanking sections to form a tall parapet wall, the curved ends of which extend back into the main roof area of the building. Historic photographs show this area to have incorporated a window opening above a wide horizontally-reeded band extending the full width of the entrance section to link with the upper storey of the flanking sections of the building. This has been retained but the reeded decoration appears to be covered.
The lower floor areas of the flanking sections were designed to incorporate retail units, with office accommodation above. The lower levels are now covered by sheeting, but the upper levels are clad in white faience, and each section incorporates two wide window openings with three-light transomed metal window frames. At the junction of the curved walling and the entrance section are wide vertically-reeded faience panels extending from floor level to half the height of the ground floor, above which sheeting conceals the upper section. At either end of the frontage, curved faience-clad walling returns onto the side elevations, ending at wide vertically-reeded terminal pilaster-like panels. The side elevations are built of brick and are more functionally detailed, each with evenly-spaced window openings with plain brick heads, shallow faience projecting cills, and metal window frames.
The interior of the building, with the exception of the frontage units is a single open space. The south-east side wall supports a cantilevered raised walkway extending almost the full length width of the building. The roof structure is a complex, lightweight steel structure, designed to resist both the compression and tension stresses present in the long, unsupported spans, and designed to achieve the open-plan interior required. The curved ends of the front walling either side of the entrance doorway reflect the curvature of the building's exterior.