Manpower Services Commission Building – Sheffield
Architect: Property Services Agency
Pearl Assurance House – Newcastle
Architect: T P Bennetts
I couldn’t find much information on this one, thanks to @scam_ne for the designer but if you know a construction date get in touch. It’s a stumpy slab sat at one end of a three storey podium. The two are connected by a thin glazed neck, which is one of the building’s more interesting features, and one which gives a lighter feeling to the structure. The windows are recessed slightly into the rough grey concrete cladding. the lower ground floor is inhabited by various shops, the upper floors are given over to office space. While not the finest example of brutalism, it has a quiet dignity, standing aloof above the bustling crowds of central Newcastle. That dignity is threatened however by the potential of a poly carbonate cladding around the crown of the slab. A ridiculous idea, obviously. The attraction of modernism is simplicity, clean lines, and lack of ornament. Flashy gimmickry such as this strips the style of what makes it great, while in no way placating those who despise it, who will make claims of turd polishing.
Norwich House – Liverpool
Architects: Edmund Kirby & Sons
I was wandering down Water Street in Liverpool when this small office building caught my eye. At street level the building is very light, with smart brown tiling, large expanses of clear glass, and slender piers to support the bulk above. The upper floors are clad in precast concrete panels in a classic unfinished grey. The window surrounds protrude slightly and the glass is highly reflective with a copper hue. These elements all combine well to give that space age as envisaged in the 70s look.
The building looks to be for let, and seems to be in a prime location for both taxis and post boxes. So, if you are into concrete and need some office space it’s worth a look.
The Capital – Liverpool
(Formerly New Hall Place or the Royal Sun Alliance Building)
Architects: Tripe & Wakeham Partnership
This building was constructed as part of Liverpool’s waterfront renewal programme in 1976 and is situated just a couple of hundred metres from the Royal Liver Building – Britain’s first reinforced concrete structure. It originally housed the Royal Sun Alliance Insurance group, and the shape of the building was dictated by the company’s structure at the time. Each of the 13 floors was occupied by a single department, with the larger departments at the bottom and smaller ones at the top. The resulting irregular pyramid shape gives a massive, heavy feel to the structure and this is accentuated by the narrow slit windows, which were designed to maximise energy efficiency. The vertically ribbed concrete has a sandy yellow colour that provides a nice contrast to the blue grey of the other buildings that make up Liverpool’s skyline when viewed from the Mersey.