Building Name

Dronsfield Brothers Offices, King Street, Oldham

1906 - 1907
King Street
GMCA, England
Dronsfield Brothers
New build
Grade II

Historically much more remarkable than it is startling. Just seven bays and two storeys, but the window and door surrounds of stone cut into such anti-period angular shapes that the building must be accepted as a valid pioneer work for a 20th century style. The materials are remarkable too: glazed green brick, Cornish granite and glass. [Pevsner Lancashire South]

This simple block stands in strong contrast to Sellers=s early florid work. It is devoid of explicit historical detail or decoration, but the purity and symmetry are of classical inspiration. The treatment of the shallow recessions and variations of plane round the windows emphasises the rectilinear quality of the design. The material is polished grey granite and glazed green brick, with a reinforced concrete flat roof. [Partners in Style. p55]

It is a well  proportioned, symmetrical design and is constructed with a flat roof. There is nothing ostentatious about the building, no heavy detailing or superfluous decoration. Its impressiveness is derived solely from its simplicity, proportion and almost Greek restraint. It is faced in a smooth, mottled grey granite and dark green glazed facing brick. It is one of the few buildings in Oldham whose surfaces have withstood the soot and smoke of the corrosive atmosphere. and it is still clean looking and attractive. Sellers loved working in different planes and made great play with depth in his designs. Which at times remind one of Lloyd Wright's work. In this design the corners of the building are modelled to throw a shadow which emphasise the silhouette. The depth of the reveals at the doors and windows gives an effect of stability and the deep recess over the doors divides the elevation and accents the main entrance. The cast iron railings along the front of the building are sensitively designed and fortunately survived the war. [John Archer].

Reference    Pevsner: Lancashire South. (1969). page 358
Reference    Partnership in Style (1975)  page 54- illustration and page 55