BTDB Computer
Part of:
  • Cedric Price (architect)
  • Felix J. Samuely & Partners (consulting engineering firm)
  • Baker, Wilkins & Smith (quantity surveyors)
  • Sandy Brown (consultant)
  • Cedric Price (archive creator)

BTDB Computer


1966-1984, predominant 1968-1973

Level of archival description:
File 70
Extent and medium:
  • 293 reprographic copies
    228 drawings
    1.26 l.m. of textual records
    0.08 l.m. of photographs
Scope and content:
File documents the executed project for an office building to house the computer facilities of the British Transport Docks Board (BTDB) at Bulls Bridge and Hayes Road, in Southall, Ealing, England. The building has few doors and no corridors, rooms for computers, data control and preparation, and offices for engineers, programmers, and analysts. The client anticipated a 20% expansion of facilities during the life-cycle of the building and Cedric Price developed designs for "expanding" the building without interrupting computer services which were to run 24 hours a day. Design included interior walls that can be dismounted and reinstalled, a raised flexible floor system, and an exterior cladding system that allowed for an interchange between opaque and transparent panels. Existing conditions material includes an ordinance survey (1963) and floor plans for an unidentified building. Design development and working drawings include site plans, floor plans, sections, elevations, and construction details. The plans show: circulation patterns and relationships between areas; a series of alternate floor plans for computer room expansion; connections between original and expanded services; the computer room and equipment; furniture layout; framing and structure; and plans for acoustic and visual barriers. Also included are axonometric drawings of the phased development/expansion of the structure; design validation charts which measure projected "required" design elements against observation and investigation; environmental control charts exploring alternate proposals for illumination, ventilation, air, temperature, and acoustic control of certain areas, and diagrammatic sections showing environmental controls for air intake, returns and circulation; project requirements charts; project task sequencing diagrams; perspective drawings; elevations and sections for an illuminated sign; and details and wall sections for the exterior cladding. Twenty-nine individual and 60 sets of reprographic copies are stamped "issued contractor". Material for publication includes: details, site plans, floor plans and exterior elevations, b/w post-construction photographs, and a photo collage. Some material from this file was published in: Price, Cedric, "ECHOES: Environment Controlled Human Operational Enclosed Spaces", 'Architectural Design' (October 1969), 547-552; "Cedric Price Supplement No. 2", 'Architectural Design', vol. 41, (January 1971), 25; Price, Cedric, 'Cedric Price-Works II' (London: Architectural Press, 1984), 72, 82-83, 112, 113. Material in this file was produced between 1966 and 1984, but predominantly between 1968 and 1973.

Sandy Brown appears as the acoustics consultant and Zisman, Bowyer & Partners appear as the services consultants in this file.

File contains design development drawings, working drawings, reference drawings, photographic materials, and textual records.
Reference number:


Materials in this series were kept in the original order in which they were received.

Southall Ealing Greater London England United Kingdom

Language of material:
  • English
Related units of description:
  • For additional materials related to this project, see the following files in this fonds: File DR2004:0036; File DR2004:1414; File DR2004:1417; File DR2004:0176; File DR2004:1068 contains drawings; File DR2004:0455 contains textual records. The following files in this project series contain materials related to other project series in this fonds: File DR1995:0236:534:001 contains materials for project series AP144.S2.D79, Lightweight Enclosures Unit, and project series AP144.S2.D67, Housing Research; File DR1995:0236:534:009 contains materials for project series AP178.S2.D59, O.C.H. Feasibility Study.

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