I went to see a designer pal in Chiswick, west London, last week. Naturally I had my trusty Nikon in my bag, just in case I saw anything interesting on my way.
One thing you can’t miss is the tube station.
Thanks to the bloody great tower with the tube roundel on it. The station at Chiswick Park was opened in 1879 serving the old Metropolitan District Railway which is now the London Underground’s District Line (although this bit is over the ground of course) . In the 1930s the station was rebuilt to accommodate extra track for the extension of the Piccadilly Line westward from Hammersmith.
Although the Piccadilly Line trains don’t stop at Chiswick Park the station was rebuilt in the Art Deco style utilised on the Piccadilly Line’s eastbound extension.
Designed by Charles Holden, the station features a tall semi-circular ticket hall with clerestory windows, and was inspired by Krumme Lanke Station in Berlin.
It’s my opinion that stations took on certain roles of churches for the Art Deco architects of the 1920s and 30s. New clean electric trains were a symbol of the new order of modern life and stations were the gateway to this new age of mass passenger transit that thousands of people passed through daily. It is fitting that they should be places of awe and wonder.