-Patricia Hazle & Alan Lucey
The Boots D10 ‘Wets’ factory in Nottingham, England by engineer, Owen Williams, was completed in 1932 for the manufacture of pharmaceutical goods. It is an outstanding example of the ‘daylight’ factory and was constructed on a scale that had not yet been seen in England: a result of American influence. Aberdeen Press & Journal referred to D10 as the “Wonder factory of glass” and forty years later the factory was described as “Britain’s Crystal Palace of the 20th century, and the most advanced piece of industrial architecture in Britain before the Second World War.” Williams believed that a factory was “a place protected from wind and weather where things, mostly unnecessary are made most efficiently.” The most significant element of the Boots factory is its vast open atrium above the main production space, which Williams’ justified through systems like chutes to transfer raw and finished materials from level to level. The factory is still being used today for its original industrial purpose: the manufacture of pharmaceutical products for the Boots Pure Drug Co.