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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Art Deco Icons: London Transport - BBC4

I forgot to blog about this show when it was on over the weekend, but if you're in the UK you can watch it on
BBC iPlayer

Art Deco Icons: London Transport  - BBC4

"David Heathcote explores the dramatic 1930s London Transport HQ in St James', London. When it was built in the 1930s, it was the highest skyscraper in London. Frank Pick, who commissioned it, offered to resign from the London Underground Company, because there were so many complaints about its ambitious design.

The HQ became the nerve centre for an Art Deco transformation of the underground which remains today. David Heathcote ventures out on the Piccadilly Line to Southgate to investigate. For many, it is just the scene of a crowded journey to work, but Heathcote discovers a perfect example of a co-ordinated Deco look. The sleek tube station uses streamlined features, soft uplighting and chrome to create a glamorous overall effect. It may be lost on the commuters on their way to work, but for Heathcote it is a moment to stand back and enjoy the marvel that was Art Deco

If you find yourself hanging around St James's Park Tube station on the Westbound platform there's some exhibition cases with a lot of goodies from the 1920's & 1930's which illustrate the features that are often missed.

St James's Park - Roundel Display

Think of it as a mini free London Transport Museum. Bowroaduk also spotted some wonderful clocks at 55 Broadway.

Time interval clocks in 55 Broadway reception by bowroaduk

He said "This was formerly a publicly accessible area and these clocks were installed here (and at Piccadilly Circus) for the interest of passengers. Only two of the dials now work."

There's a lot of art deco around on the London Underground and it's great that it's now been highlighted in the BBC documentary. Let us know some of your favourite art deco parts of the Tube.

; Posted by Annie Mole Tuesday, November 03, 2009 Permalink COMMENT HERE Add to Stumble Upon