History in Structure

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Alexon House

A Grade II Listed Building in Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taff

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5807 / 51°34'50"N

Longitude: -3.3104 / 3°18'37"W

OS Eastings: 309300

OS Northings: 187681

OS Grid: ST093876

Mapcode National: GBR HR.CQ1D

Mapcode Global: VH6DR.KJTM

Entry Name: Alexon House

Listing Date: 6 May 2011

Last Amended: 6 May 2011

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 87642

Location: In Hawthorn between the A5054 and the river Taff.

County: Rhondda Cynon Taff

Town: Pontypridd

Community: Pontypridd

Community: Pontypridd

Locality: Hawthorn

Built-Up Area: Pontypridd

Traditional County: Glamorgan

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Pontypridd

History

Constructed in 1949 by Messrs E Taylor and Co Ltd of Littleburgh and Treforest to designs by DM Craig of Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners for the clothing manufacturer Alexander Steinberg and his company Alexon, named after Alexander & Sons. Alexon was based in Luton but had established a factory on the Treforest Trading Estate in 1939. Known as the G7 factory it had been responsible for manufacturing military uniforms during the second World War. After the war Steinberg decided to establish a purpose built textile factory on a vacant site in Hawthorn, making use of the trained available labour and expertise from the existing Treforest operation.

Manufacturing on the site continued until c.2005 with the factory then being used as a warehouse, collection point and for onsite sales for cloth and finished products with the manufacturing being outsourced to Eastern Europe. On site activity finally ceased at the end of 2010.

Exterior

Factory complex with main façade set back from the main road through Hawthorn and dominated by tall off-centre projecting stair tower with long 2 storey wings to either side. Main manufacturing and ancillary areas to the rear. Partly painted brick to a concrete frame with concrete floor and roof slabs and crittal windows and saw-tooth roof to the main machine floor.

Brick D-shape stair tower breaking forward with 5 curved panels of square glazed brick to the front broken by plain columns. Plain cornice and handrail to the roof and string course at first floor connecting with the entrance canopy to the right. Wings to either side have continual bands of windows to both ground and first floors with plain surrounds and plain brick piers in between each window. Left wing of 18 bays and taller right wing of 6 bays with entrance to the ground floor of double glazed doors with glazed panels to side and above all set in plain angled canopied surround, side panel with circular piercings.

The combination of the offset and projecting stair tower and the unbalanced wings creates a visual shift to the right, emphasising the glazed tower as the most important aspect of the elevation along with the function of the right wing as the entrance.

Further 2 storey wing to left set back slightly and large single storey factory extends to the rear with staff entrance on the left hand side approached from main site access road. Garage and boiler room detached to the rear left.

Interior

Main entrance leads to offices and reception area within the right hand wing and stair to left. Stair of concrete with steel balusters, panels, chromed and handrails. Manager's flat on the first floor of the right hand wing, main offices in refitted space on the ground floor of the left hand wing, canteen above relocated from original position to the rear of the factory. Main machine floor centrally to the rear under saw-tooth roof now an open space. Ancillary spaces to the left, storerooms at rear. Separate single storey wing to right connected by passage contains storerooms and loading bays.

Reasons for Listing

Included for its special architectural interest as an outstanding example of post-war industrial architecture of the "streamlined moderne" style and designed by one of the leading firms of consultant engineers of the period. It is purposefully composed and through the use of a tall glazed tower as the focal point of its main façade it is intended as a landmark building. It is also important for its historical significance as a major employer within the Treforest area, an area nationally important for textile manufacturing, and as an employer that established the welfare of its workers as a key aspect of daily life. The belief in caring for the workforce was important in the post-war period and the newly born welfare state, and the architectural style used at Alexon can be taken as a visual expression of this.

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