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Latitude: 51.5048 / 51°30'17"N
Longitude: -0.4258 / 0°25'32"W
OS Eastings: 509354
OS Northings: 179607
OS Grid: TQ093796
Mapcode National: GBR 2W.Z74
Mapcode Global: VHFTC.KFRR
Plus Code: 9C3XGH3F+WM
Entry Name: Enterprise House
Listing Date: 31 October 1997
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1244861
English Heritage Legacy ID: 468926
Location: Hillingdon, London, UB3
Electoral Ward/Division: Botwell
Parish: Non Civil Parish
Built-Up Area: Hillingdon
Traditional County: Middlesex
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London
Church of England Parish: St Anselm Hayes
Church of England Diocese: London
TQ 07 NE
BLYTH ROAD Enterprise House
Former gramophone factory for His Master's Voice, now warehousing and industrial units. 1912 by the Trussed Concrete Steel Company, E Owen Williams senior designer. Reinforced concrete frame, with posts and beams using the Kahn system of reinforcement patented in 1903 by Albert and Julius Kahn in Detroit, USA, and painted brick infill. The building is unusual for its date not only in its system of construction but that this is expressed externally. Flat roof, with north-facing rooflights to rear. Irregular E-shaped plan, with offset centre denoted by rooftop water tank, its wings projecting to rear. Street facade is 1-10-3-5 bay composition, with offset three-bay centre containing staircase set round central liftshaft and topped by watertank - itself supported on a
concrete frame treated as a tripartite arch to the streetfront. Small pane metal windows with central opening casements. Iron railing to roof. Sides and rear similar, but east side and rear with projecting frame indicating that the building was intended to be extended. The treatment of the reinforcement bars at the top of the columns as a form of capital is distinctive in concrete
construction of this period and is also found internally.
Sir E Owen Williams is the most significant engineer turned architect in twentieth-century British architecture, noted for his work for the Boots Pure Drug Company, the Daily Express and British Overseas Airways Corporation. This is his first known work. It is significant in its own right as an early reinforced concrete building which is unusual for its date in that the frame clearly expressed as a composition rather than hidden behind brick or render. This and the rooftop watertank, a curious architectural feature, has led to the building becoming known as 'Little Chicago'.
Sources: The Builder, 29 March 1912, pp 375-7; Peter Collins, 'Concrete, the Vision of a New Architecture', 1959; David Cottam and Gavin Stamp, 'Sir E Owen Williams', 1986; Andrew Saint, 'Some Thoughts About the Architectural Use of Concrete', AA Files 21, 1991.
Listing NGR: TQ0935479607
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