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Ardeer, Ici Plant, "South African Pavilion" (Former Ici Staff Restaurant)

A Category B Listed Building in Stevenston, North Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6253 / 55°37'31"N

Longitude: -4.7297 / 4°43'46"W

OS Eastings: 228228

OS Northings: 640239

OS Grid: NS282402

Mapcode National: GBR 35.LRVP

Mapcode Global: WH2NW.BV0Y

Entry Name: Ardeer, Ici Plant, "South African Pavilion" (Former Ici Staff Restaurant)

Listing Date: 31 January 1992

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 353430

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19136

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Stevenston

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Stevenston

Parish: Stevenston

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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Description

James Miller, 1938. Symmetrical, single-storey, 7- by 3-bay former temporary pavilion built for the Empire Exhibition (see Notes) and resited at Ardeer, with large curvilinear Dutch-Baroque gables and later, 1960s, 2-storey flat-roofed section added to SW. Steel and timber framed structure, with cream painted asbestos cement cladding. Very steep pitched roofs with brown pantiles; replacement slates at W end. Multi-paned sash and case glazing made up of small square panes with chunky astragals.

N ELEVATION: 5 bays between projecting gables, with alternate doors and windows (2 doors with tall multi-paned grid pattern glazed fanlights; sash and case windows with 30 small square panes to each sash). Symmetrical curvilinear gables flanking, with chunky scrolls and semi-circular pedimented aspices; centre bay of gable slightly advanced, containing doors with rectangular grid-glazed fanlights and canted entablatures. Windows above on each gable have been blocked; simple niches beneath semi-circular apex. 2-leaf panelled door in right-hand gable; slightly different 2-leaf door with Spanish style curved glazing at upper panels to left. Doors flanked by narrow glazed strips (sash and case glazing; 15 panes to each sash).

SIDE ELEVATIONS: 5 bays; 18-pane sash and case windows at ground.

E ENTRANCE ELEVATION: (originally the principal front facing onto the water at the centre of Dominion and Colonial Avenue); elaborately detailed door with sweetheart curved moulding above low glazed 2-leaf door and diagonal astragals above in fanlight converging at glazed 'keystone' above curved timber moulding; also flanked by narrow sash and case windows; window above in tall, narrow curvilinear gable-head blocked. 2 red tiled steps to door as at N.

S (REAR) ELEVATION: very plain; smaller 9-pane windows at ground; straight-edged gables with simplified Dutch semi-circular pedimented aspices and kneelers midway.

Statement of Interest

The former South Africa pavilion with its distinctive curvilinear Dutch Baroque gables is one of the few remaining buildings from the Glasgow Empire Exhibition of 1938, held at Bellahouston Park. It was built originally to show exports from South Africa and the Dutch gables were designed to reflect the Dutch influence in South African architecture. Built as a temporary structure, the building was later moved to Ardeer to become a staff canteen.

The Empire Exhibition was an international showcase to celebrate industry and had exhibits from around the Commonwealth. Thomas Tait was the architect-in-chief and the majority of the buildings were in a contemporary functional style, using the latest building materials of steel and timber framing with asbestos cladding. The Dutch Baroque style of the Pavilion contrasted with these. The pavilion took its place in the 'Dominions and Colonies' section of the Exhibition, together with Canada and Australia Houses.

The GLASGOW HERALD evidently appealed on behalf of the public for the South African Pavilion at least to be retained after the close of the Exhibition.

It is appropriate that one of the pavilions found its way to ICI at Ardeer: ICI, the then largest chemical producer in the Empire had been represented at the Exhibition by another building, Basil Spence's ICI Pavilion, built entirely of ICI products, in the UK Manufacturing and Industries Section.

The building was altered slightly in its re-erection and an illustration in Architect and Building News (see above) shows elaborate gables with finials (now missing) to S. Kinchin, p143 shows a pedimented doorcase rather than entablature at E entrance.

James Miller (1860-1947) was a prolific and well-respected architect, based in Glasgow and who practiced all over Scotland. He was the architect of the previous 1901 Exhibition at Kelvingrove Park and was 78 years old when he designed this pavilion.

(References and Notes updated, 2011. All windows boarded, 2011)

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