The ‘solid-box’ neighbour of the Component plant was designed by London-based James Cubitt and Partners. The original masterplan intended for the building to have no external windows, only small rooflights to supplement the artificially lit interior – an odd, unhealthy design by today’s standards.
The facade is formed continuously of blue brindle engineering brick giving the smooth, dark-grey finish to the walls. The grey-painted columns on the outside give a rhythm to the facade, along with tall slit windows that were eventually incorporated along the front facade of the building. The external walls are a post-tensioned, cavity wall construction which was at the time a relatively new technique in masonry construction. By applying tension to the brickwork after construction, it increases the capacity of the brickwork to withstand tension as a result of loading from heavy machinery.
The factory is still in production today manufacturing engines for Cummins.
Images 1-3 courtesy of Cummins Engines, Darlington
Images 4-5 copyright of Sheffield Hallam University, Photographer Peter Fawcett