Friday, March 28, 2008

Former City Electricity Works, Worcester

From majestic cooling towers to backstreet substations, England’s electricity industry has produced many different kinds of buildings, mostly ignored by architectural historians and passers-by, sometimes condemned as eyesores. This one is far from an eyesore. It’s the former City Electricity Works outside Worcester, sitting back from the road southwest of the city across a meadow by the River Teme. Apart from temporary structures, this delightful building, now converted to apartments, was the first hydroelectric station built by the authorities of an English city. Worcester’s city engineer, S. G. Purchas, did the designs, fitting three big turbines across the river. The red and yellow brick, arched windows, and water-meadow setting ensure that this fine building of the 1890s looked good then and now, generating admiration as well as 400 kilowatts.

1 comment:

Peter Ashley said...

I love it, what a treat. It's that thing of the advancements of an age still being somehow rooted in biblical sentiment; one can imagine the design for this state-of-the-art building being scribbled on the blank pages of a Prayer Book (1662 of course) during a particularly dull sermon.