Four Steel Walls:  


Dorman Long Company (Dorlonco) houses

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The Dorlonco system is considered to be the most successful of

the post-WWI house types, in terms of both commercial viability

and longevity of production, with some examples dating from post-

WWII period. Originally built to house workers and their families of

the Dorman Long Company at Dormanstown, the first

demonstration houses were built in 1919 and the system received

the support of the Ministry of Health . The system appears to have

been well designed to avoid problems of corrosion in the main

structure, whilst the close spacing of the steel framework made a

secondary timber framework to support claddings and linings

unnecessary . The steel frame was designed to accept a number

of different claddings, from conventional brickwork to render on a

metal lath.

The system's architects, Adshead, Ramsey and Abercrombie,

created a well proportioned house that conformed to the popular

neo-Georgian style. The regular sizing and placement of window

and door openings satisfied the expectation of standardisation

and simplification that had become an orthodoxy during the war

years , and was also well suited to systemised building. Internal

linings are very robust, consisting of a 2 inch thick leaf of clinker

block work, plastered on the inner face, whilst intermediate floors

are of concrete on metal lath reinforcement. As a result, the

houses give the impression of being extremely solidly built. The

Dorman Long Company was responsible for the manufacture and

erection of the steel frame, the completion of the houses being

carried out by local contractors or Local Authority direct labour.