(The Elephant House)
To the Longbridge skyline is now added BMC's commercial vehicle showroom, a building which, impressive in design, warranted an impressive opening ceremony which was performed last month by Sir Richard Powell, Permanent Secretary, Board of Trade. 'Showcase for Export' has been the slogan linked with the design and completion of the building-and Sir Richard pointed out that in the planning, construction, and opening of the building, the Corporation had shown itself to be forward looking in policy and in the forefront of export drive.
The architect of this building I feel, congratulate Sir Richard. He found upon inspection, worthy of the highest praise. Sir Richard declared that the motor industry was of prime importance to Great Britain, and a member the British Motor Corporation had shown great enterprise in the place, and constructing the new showroom gave further evidence of this enterprise.
We cannot live without exports,' declared the Permanent Secretary. 'Today they are more important than ever.' The Corporation in establishing a showroom where overseas buyers would be able to inspect the Corporation's products, would, he felt sure, further enhance the efforts of the Chairman and his team in selling abroad. 'I feel sure that you in BMC can look forward to great things in the future,' he said.
Congratulating the Corporation on the establishment of BMC (Scotland) Ltd., Sir Richard said that a lead had been established which he hoped other industry would follow in taking employment and manufacture to the less prosperous areas of the British Isles.
This contribution towards the 'evening out' of differences in employment and prosperity in the country was greatly appreciated by his Board, and Sir Richard told Mr. Harriman 'I am very impressed by your new building; I am sure BMC will go from strength to strength.'
THE commercial vehicle 'showcase" boasts as its central feature an illuminated dome 100ft. in diameter the largest in Europe which is 38ft. high.
The concrete in the dome alone weighs 430 tons, and the problems of stress due to temperature change are solved by mounting the domes pre-stressed concrete beam on rubber bearings.
The hall can house between 30 and 40 commercial vehicles, and a central display can be mounted on a 30ft. diameter permanent turntable. Emphasis in the building is on the harmonious combination of natural and artificial light with three-lamp diffusers, fluorescent units and the dome's central candelabra supplementing the natural light through the large areas of glass used in the surrounding walls.