Hartcliffe Factory

SOM, YRM, Bristol, 1974


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View from north-west showing head office building on the right and Western Division factory on the left 

Richard Einzig and John Roaf     Download Original

  • View from north-west showing head office building on the right and Western Division factory on the left    
  • Elevation showing corrugated coated steel cladding    
  • Detail of Corten factory elevation    
  • Detail of the entrance to the Western Division factory    
  • Distant view of the Wills complex    
  • End elevation from the south-west    
  • Detail of the head office tower with the Cor-ten structure standing well forward of the window wall    
  • Upstand trusses on the roof    
  • Part of main entrance to reception and head office    
  • Chairman    
  • Marketing director    
  • Chairman    
  • Open plan offices extend the whole depth of hte head office building    
  • Tunnel linking head office building with Western Division building    
  • Western Division factory    
  • Western Division offices looking towards one of the planted courtyards    
  • Western Division restaurant    
  • Western Divison staff lounge    
  • Stainless steel pneumatic tubes in the tobacco stall    
  • Site plan    
  • Plans    
  • Section through Western Division showing work flow    
  • Section through Western Division    

Europe’s largest cigarette manufacturing plant at Hartcliffe near Bristol for WD and HO Wills

Skidmore Owings & Merill designed the factory to an irregular plan which was suited to the complex manufacturing process of tobacco, of which there are seventeen phases.

The factory is a single-storey steel structure with an underground level. Tobacco is stored in the basement, with a car park above. The ground floor accommodates the production area with a tunnel linking it to the administative head offices.

Exposed trussses above roof level allow the 80m by 90m floor plates to be column free. A mezzanine on level two runs along the length of the building, accommodating offices and ancillary accommodation.

The head office is a five-storey tower on a two-storey L-shaped podium built over a newly formed lake.

The glazing is bronze-tinted glass within stove-painted aluminium frames. Inside, the walls are concrete block, painted black in the factory and white in the offices, and the floors are mostly vinyl asbestos tiles in the factory, and carpet in the offices.


  • Completed: 1974
  • Floor area: 277,172m2
  • Sector: Industrial
  • Tender date: Jan 1969
  • Address: Hartcliffe Factory, Bristol, BS13 7TJ, United Kingdom

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