Posted on: April 2nd, 2013

floorlines ready

Careering around the factory, a maze of corridors, steep narrow stairs, large empty open spaces with low ceilings and paths that cross… people mill about.

Each person is on purpose, an electrician fixing the cable on my computer, an office worker making tea, a delivery, an inspector, an interviewer, and though the factory is not in operation today – still the work goes on, paths cross.

It’s like walking through your empty school during the summer holidays or catching your teacher out shopping in normal clothes.

Upstairs in The Developer the music warps and wefts, the violin meshes with the Variphon,  they duck and dive and combine and then take their leave.

They are the two dancing swifts, a musical dog tooth dog fight in flight.

Both instruments have their own stories: the Variophon – a keyboard connected to an electric brain, powered by a tube in which human breath is blown in an early attempt at synthesizing brass instruments, had come up from the studio of producer Tim Friese Green, the Variophone was the reluctant star of his Heligoland album and now central to the Developer… The violin was born in 1927 in France and was passed down through the generations, Catherine being the most recent 30 year long custodian.

The Mill has grown organically in a methodical haphazard fashion, the purpose and contents of the rooms alter as history dictates a change in the manufactory process. Though the main ordination of these buildings reside laterally east to west, the connecting fibres of the joining routes cut across this, binding them all together in a semblance of patchwork crazed order.

The flooring of The Developer room is a medley of inserted maple and hardwood floorboards, telling its own history. Throughout the factory one treads the boards of unique creaking wood and fibre marquetry, some in board strips some in uncut flat plains. A new canteen has been created and the new flooring retains a patent Smedley creak as if the house musician/architect (once considered the same) was instructed to carefully adhere to the score.

rooflines ready

The varied roofline of the Smedley Mill showing the contradicting Standard Roof Angle Directive (S.R.A.D.) instigated in part or whole over the years.