Description: Bata Industrial Building Number 12
Date Listed: 16 June 2009
English Heritage Building ID: 505018
OS Grid Reference: TQ6793378346
OS Grid Coordinates: 567933, 178346
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4791, 0.4169
977/0/10033 THAMES INDUSTRIAL PARK
16-JUN-09 Bata Industrial Building Number 12
Building 12 of the former British Bata site, East Tilbury, designed by F L Gahura (1891-1958) and V Karfik (1901-1996) for the Bata Shoe Company of Zlin in the International Modern Movement Style, built 1933. Constructed by main contractors Walsham Ltd, the welding and erection work carried out by the Gravesend Welding and Electrical Engineering Works Ltd.
Built of welded steel columns and roof trusses, the latter with diagonal struts, with reinforced concrete walls.
Single storey, 262ft long, 62ft wide with a lower, 5 bay range to the west.
Building 12 has welded Crittall sash side lights or 12-pane windows and 8 pane windows in the west range and a roof comprised two shallow 'v' shaped sections. On the north elevation, a brick-built porch has been added.
The Bata shoe company identified the historic riverside of East Tilbury as a suitable place for the development of a Shoe Factory and purpose built settlement between the 1930s and 1960s. From modest origins, the Bata Company grew in the inter-war years of the C20 to become one of the world's largest shoe manufacturers and retailers. Its founder was Thomas Bata. By the 1930s, the Bata Company had become a world-wide shoe empire, co-ordinating its global activities, in particular all details of the shoe-making process, from the HQ at Zlin. It expanded its manufacturing sites globally including factories in Holland, India and East Tilbury (known as British Bata) in 1933. By the early 1930s, Bata's architects F L Gahura (1891-1958) and his student V Karfik (1901-1996), both of whom had trained with Le Corbusier and in Karfik's case, also worked with Frank Lloyd Wright, had developed a consistent architectural design in the International Modern Movement style for Bata sites across the globe.
The plant at East Tilbury acted as both producer and distributor of the Bata products, primarily in the manufacture of rubber and leather footwear. The first factory buildings, including Building 12, were constructed in January 1933. In 1934, a leather factory (Trafalgar house, building 13) and domestic housing was built. Between 1936 and 1938, a second leather and rubber factory (buildings 24 and 34) were built as well as a garage and other social facilities and although WWII slowed development, the site continued to expand into the 1960s.
English Heritage, East Tilbury, Essex: Historic Area Appraisal, 2007
www.batamemories.org.uk accessed December 2008
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION
Building 12 at the former British Bata site, East Tilbury, is designated at grade II for the following principal reasons:
* From the currently available research, Building 12 is the earliest surviving example of welded-steel construction in the country.
* It is one of the earliest, least altered, former factory buildings on the internationally significant British Bata site at East Tilbury, designed in the International Modern Movement Style by Gahura and Karfik.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.