Report - - Ordnance Survey, Southampton, 16/07/11 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Ordnance Survey, Southampton, 16/07/11


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28DL Member
Parts of the old building in Romsey Road, Southampton, are crumbling away, while elsewhere there are sad, abandoned rooms that once housed paper maps – which of course were the Ordnance Survey’s raison d'être before the advent of digital technology.
The building was closed at the end of 2010 with the last staff leaving in the early weeks of December. The site was then handed over to Kier for development though parts of the site are still being used by other organisations such as HM Customs and Excise.
It is far more than a boring office block. There are two large factory floors used for printing maps (one was in use until very recently) with barrel-vaulted northlight roofs. The staff restaurant has a very unique domed concrete shell roof. There is a large building containing vast double-height warehouses. Another building contains a staff nursery and garage for pool cars. The plant rooms are also very interesting, with a lot of 60s equipment still remaining. There are vast air handling units for the factory areas that are large enough to stand inside. Cooling towers on the roof. A combined heat and power system in the boiler house. Several OTIS lifts that are totally unmodernised and still have ancient electromechanical selector mechanisms and relay cabinets.
The future of the site is unknown. The four storey office building let to other organisations(Compass House) is likely to remain, as is Crabwood House, which is listed and will probably be converted into flats. The rest of the site will sadly probably be demolished but due to the recession, the original plan for a housing estate is unlikely to be pursued in the near future. The car park is being used for a park-and-ride.
Explored by MFFP and myself. Unfortunately we didn't get to explore the whole site as there was a security presence and we got lost a couple of times. It is a very interesting building but gets a little repetitive through the offices after a while. We plan to return and hopefully find the printing rooms, etc.

Just for the record, I had to take pictures with my phone (Tocco Lite) as I don't have a decent camera so forgive me for the awful quality!
I also apologise for it being a bit pic-heavy, but no one has gotten in here before so I tried to include as much as I could.



The first staircase we came to when we got inside. (It was actually in the same room.)


Again, in the same room. The huge purple doors look like they're security doors into the lobby, as they were allowed in there.


These were all over the show with different numbers on. I guess they're probably auction stickers or something. There was also a poster with the 'Love your heart' logo on it.


Just more proof we actually got in. :p


A view into the middle of the building from one of the windows on the third floor.



Doors into what used to be an office. We got lost many times and ended up in there.


Another view from a window.




Maps! And lots of them!


Ordnance Survey tape. :3




Some sorta chart, the colours probably meant something, but I have no idea what. It was in months and days though, like a calender.


'No scooters allowed.' Why?!



'The Hub' hallway. Ended up here many times after getting lost, too. Was a pretty dream catcher, too. ^^


The actual Hub. I thought I could hear someone so we thought about diving behind the counter but went in a store cupboard instead. xD

The builders look like they had fun.


All of the pillars in one big room had these on them, but some of them had words on them, with different sort of 'subjects' as such.


I love the colours. The whole posters are just so pretty.


Finally, we got to the basement. There were quotes all over the walls. Here are two of them but there must have been about 50 odd. They were so inspirational!
We then wondered into the opposite side of the building into the security part but didn't realise it; walked up a set of stairs and saw a door with a 'Security Lounge' sign on it! We legged it soon after that.


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