Saturday, 19 September 2009

19 September 2009 - Fairfield Shipyard Offices

I don't know what it is about ports, dockyards and harbours but they hold a strange fascination for me. I'm sure Andrew would add........ and a worrying one!!! In all my travels I've never failed to find "interesting" buildings hanging about beside docks and harbours. You could be forgiven for thinking such locations would inherently lead to bland blocks for buildings which most would consider perfectly acceptable for conducting the business of shipping etc. Alas true gems do exist around these areas and I was hoping Fairfield Shipyard Offices would be just one of these gems.

Arriving at the place you can't help but feel sorry for this building. Wrapped in scaffolding and netting it certainly is a sorry sight. Years of neglect finally promoted this building to the Historical Buildings at Risk Register or the Hospice for pre demolished buildings. Ten years of hard work from a charity have given Fairfields a stay of execution. Some of the charity directors have had a long association with shipbuilding and have it seems worked tirelessly to secure funding for the restoration work. They have their work cut out for them. They aim to turn the place into purpose built office/work space for the community who have suffered redundancy not just from the shipbuilding industry.

Only the ground floor was accessible due to the on-going building works.

But despite its tired state the place still boasted lovely plaster ceilings and wall panelling.

And are these light fittings not just amazing. You'd expect generic strip lighting of that era to be installed here not these wonderful fittings.

And they put in lovely windows too. We liked this one, especially the "links" pattern in the lower section.

There are plenty of examples of work in progress.

The main staircase had been carefully wrapped in protective plyboard but the open atrium at the entrance still had a beautiful plaster ceiling to show off.

Outside the building Andrew couldn't help himself...... he had to take a picture of this weird metal sculpture. I have no idea what is going on with it other than there are a couple of birds sitting on what looks like a giant set of crabs claws! There remains some art I just "cannot get".

No comments: