The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Photo © Jeremy Gould
Photo © Jeremy Gould
Photo © Jeremy Gould

100 Buildings 100 Years

1948: St Teresa’s Bakery and Store, Dingle’s, Plymouth

Condition: Poor/damaged condition
Type: Commercial/offices
Architect: Gordon Tait of Sir John Burnet, Tait and Lorne
Location: Beaumont Road, Plymouth, PL4

The first new building to be completed in Plymouth after the war, this was designed by Gordon Tait, who was demobbed early from the RAF to assist his father, Thomas S. Tait in the revived London office. The four-storey building was steel-framed and clad in precast concrete planks of Portland stone aggregate as suggested in Patrick Abercrombie’s 1943 A Plan for Plymouth. In its details – the stair tower of 2-inch Dutch brick, the porthole and horizontal metal windows – it refers back to many of the firm’s buildings of the 1930s, but in its unashamedly horizontal composition, the projecting eaves and the pioneering cladding it looks forward to the ‘lighter’ compositions of the 1950s. The bright future is symbolised by the cornucopia cast into the conrete panels.

The Bakery became disused in the 1970s and shops were inserted but by the 1990s the whole building was derelict. In the early 2000s it was converted into student flats. Following refusal of an application for listing, the single-storey bakery was demolished and a floor added to the four-storey block. The original building is now unrecognisable.

by Jeremy Gould

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