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Building D6 at Boots Factory Site

A Grade I Listed Building in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

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Latitude: 52.9256 / 52°55'32"N

Longitude: -1.1937 / 1°11'37"W

OS Eastings: 454302

OS Northings: 336773

OS Grid: SK543367

Mapcode National: GBR 8HW.K12

Mapcode Global: WHDGY.MQSH

Plus Code: 9C4WWRG4+7G

Entry Name: Building D6 at Boots Factory Site

Listing Date: 14 April 1987

Last Amended: 26 April 2013

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1278028

English Heritage Legacy ID: 429350

Location: Broxtowe, Nottinghamshire, NG90

County: Nottinghamshire

District: Broxtowe

Electoral Ward/Division: Beeston Rylands

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Nottingham

Traditional County: Nottinghamshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Nottinghamshire

Church of England Parish: Beeston

Church of England Diocese: Southwell and Nottingham

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Industrial building known as the Boots Factory D6 (dry processes) building, constructed for the Boots Pure Drug Co. in 1938 and designed by Sir Evan Owen Williams.


D6 Pharmaceutical is constructed of reinforced concrete.

The building is rectangular in plan and 18 bays long with cantilevered storage areas and loading docks on each long side.

The building has external piers carrying roof beams, and supporting cantilever beams over storage areas and loading docks. The flat roofs, and north light roofs have patent glazing. There are deep projecting floor bands with cornices. The strip glazing casements have metal frames. The building is comprised of a single storey, with 5 and 6 storey sections. The single storey area is a large, open expanse with the weight of the roof carried on cantilevered beams with occasional vertical support. The asymmetrical south-west end has a projecting central section with a 6-storey, canted lift and stair tower, flanked by a single-storey office suite with parapet. The canted, central bay with slit casements is flanked by steps, with 3 triangular aprons, and single doors with overlights. Beyond, there are single canted windows, and beyond again, 3 casements. Above, on each floor of the tower there are 2 canted casements flanked by single casements and to the left, a set back bay. To the right there is a cantilevered canopy over the car park. The south-east side has a continuous loading dock with concrete fascia above. The north-west side has, to the left, 2 projecting hoist towers, each with a pair of set back flanking wings.

Continuous floor slabs are supported by cruciform columns with flared heads. The entrance hall has 2 coved columns and a deep faience dado, as well as a stepped ceiling with flush bronze lights, perhaps modern replacements. The lobby entrance is tiled with buff and turquoise fluted ceramic tiles. The floor has a geometric stripe pattern made up of square tiles in yellow and turquoise. The cantilevered concrete stairs rise around the lift shaft and have a small rectangular light well. Office accommodation was added in 1994-6: partitions and fittings of this date are not of special interest.

The asset was previously listed twice also at List entry 1247645. This entry was removed from the List on 23/04/2015.


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.

The interior of D6 was converted in part to offices in 1994-6.

Reasons for Listing

Building D6 at the Boots factory site, erected in 1935-8, 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 reinforced concrete engineering, with unprecedented 9 metre cantilevers in the single-storey wings;

* Group Value: strong group value with Buildings D10, listed at Grade l, D90, listed at Grade ll*, and D34, listed at Grade ll.

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