Greater London

This website contains profiles of Modernist buildings in Britain. Each profile contains a description and history of the building, photographs and a location information. The following list of sites are Modernist buildings are Greater London. Click the building name or the "read more" link to view the building profile.

Arnos Grove Underground Station, London

Arnos Grove Underground Station

Bowes Road, London, Greater London, N11 1AN

Standing on Bowes Road (the A1110) in the London Borough of Enfield, Arnos Grove Underground Station is arguably London's most iconic underground station, and photographs of the station and have been used extensively in the media. Of all the Underground stations designed by British architect Charles Holden, Arnos Grove is perhaps the design that represents the best of his work on the London Underground network. In 1926 the City & South London Railway (C&SLR) (owned by the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL)) commissioned seven stations for the line's extension to Morden from Charles Holden. UERL was managed by Frank Pick (1878-1941) and it was Pick who was responsible for commissioning British designer Edward Johnston (1872-1944) to design the Underground's iconic 'roundel' symbol and typography. Holden was born in Bolton on 12 May 1875, entering architectural practice in 1892. Subsequently he joined the practice of Henry Percy Adams (1865-1930) in 1899. In 1913 architect Lionel Godfrey Pearson (1879-1953) joined and the practice became the Adams, Holden and Pearson Partnership. The success of Holden's work for C&SLR/UERL led to more commissions, most notably for new stations on the Piccadilly Line. The Piccadilly Line was extended in the 1930s northwards from its then northern terminus at Finsbury Park to Arnos Grove in September 1932; its final northernmost station was built at Cockfosters in July 1933. Holden used a number of different basic concepts for his designs, with variations to these concepts producing a unique legacy of stations in London. Arnos Grove Underground Station has a cross-shaped... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Transport

Boston Manor Station, Brentford

Boston Manor Station

Boston Manor Road, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 9LQ

Standing on Boston Manor Road in Brentford, close to Junction 4 of the M4 Motorway in London, Boston Manor Station is a station serving the Piccadilly Line on London Underground. In the early 1930s public transport in London was operated by a multitude of separate companies. This saw large companies such as the Underground Electric Railways Company of London, which operated a number of underground lines including the Northern and Piccadilly lines, providing services alongside numerous smaller companies. In 1933 the London Passenger Transport Act sought to consolidate public transport services within the designated 'London Passenger Transport Area' under the auspices of the London Passenger Transport Board (London Transport). Underground and over-ground lines, buses, coaches and trams were combined, although separate 'brands' were created. For example inner London buses were red (such as the Routemaster) whilst in the outer areas 'Green Line' buses were dark green. From the outset London Transport was managed by Frank Pick (1878-1941). Pick was an enlightened leader for the company, with an appreciation for good design. Previously, as Managing Director of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London he had commissioned designer Edward Johnston (1872-1944) to design a typography and Underground 'roundel' symbol for the company. Frank Pick had also commissioned British architect Charles Holden to work on designs for the Underground Company. Charles Holden was born in Bolton on 12 May 1875. He entered architectural practice in 1892 and joined the practice of Henry Percy Adams (1865-1930) in 1899. In 1913 architect Lionel Godfrey Pearson (1879-1953) joined... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Transport

Cockfosters Station, London

Cockfosters Station

Cockfosters Road, Barnet, Hertfordshire, EN4 0DZ

Standing on Cockfosters Road (the A111) in Barnet, north London, Cockfosters Station is a station serving as the northern terminus of the Piccadilly Line on London Underground. Today, the underground system is operated as a unified system, however in the early 1930s public transport in London was operated by a number of separate companies, including the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL). UERL operated a number of underground lines including the Northern and Piccadilly lines. UERL was managed by Frank Pick (1878-1941). Pick's involvement with London's Underground system is evident today in the network's stations and branding. Pick commissioned British designer Edward Johnston (1872-1944) to design a typography and Underground 'roundel' symbol for the company. As the Underground lines were extended out of central London Pick commissioned British architect Charles Holden to design many of the new stations required. Charles Holden was born in Bolton on 12 May 1875. He entered architectural practice in 1892 and joined the practice of Henry Percy Adams (1865-1930) in 1899. In 1913 architect Lionel Godfrey Pearson (1879-1953) joined and the practice became the Adams, Holden and Pearson Partnership. Holden's first worked under the supervision of Stanley Heaps (1880-1962), head of the Underground Group's Architects Office. However, Pick soon commissioned Holden directly, designing seven stations for UERL's Northern Line extension to Morden in 1926. Holden implemented a modern style, which set the style for London Underground design up until the Second World War. The Piccadilly Line was one such line that was extended in the 1930s; it... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Transport

Eastcote Station, Ruislip

Eastcote Station

Field End Road, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA5 1QZ

Standing on Field End Road in Ruislip, Middlesex, Eastcote Station is a station serving both the Metropolitan and Piccadilly Lines on London Underground. In the early 1930s public transport in London was operated by a multitude of separate companies. Large companies such as the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (which operated a number of underground lines including the Central and Piccadilly lines) and the Metropolitan Railway (which operated London's first underground line), alongside numerous small bus companies operated a fragmented service to passengers. In 1933 the London Passenger Transport Act sought to consolidate public transport services within the designated 'London Passenger Transport Area' under the auspices of the London Passenger Transport Board (London Transport). Underground and over-ground lines, buses, coaches and trams were combined, although separate 'brands' were created. For example inner London buses were red (such as the Routemaster) whilst in the outer areas 'Green Line' buses were dark green. From late 1933 London Transport extended the Piccadilly Line westwards from South Harrow to Uxbridge. Eastcote Station was designed in 1936 by Charles Holden but was not opened until 1939. Charles Holden was born in Bolton on 12 May 1875. He entered architectural practice in 1892 and joined the practice of Henry Percy Adams (1865-1930) in 1899. In 1913 architect Lionel Godfrey Pearson (1879-1953) joined and the practice became the Adams, Holden and Pearson Partnership. At the time of London Transport's formation, Frank Pick (1878-1941) - previously Managing Director of Underground Electric Railways Company of London - became Managing Director. In... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Transport

Grosvenor Cinema Rayners Lane, Harrow

Grosvenor Cinema Rayners Lane

440 Alexandra Avenue, Harrow, Middlesex, HA2 9TL

Standing on Alexandra Avenue in Harrow, Middlesex, the former Grosvenor Cinema was built in 1936 for the Grosvenor cinema company. The cinema was designed by Frank Ernest Bromige LRIBA (1902-1979). Bromige was a London-based architect practising, at the time, out of Kingly Street in Westminster. His works in London include the former Kingsland Empire in Dalston, the Dominion Acton (later the Acton Granada, now a bingo hall) and the Dominion Hounslow. The cinema was built by the local firm of T F Nash Ltd. With the extension of the Piccadilly and Metropolitan Lines of the London Underground network, there was a rapid expansion of suburban London. Housebuilding proliferated and Nash built a great number of homes on three 'estates' in the South Harrow, Rayner's Lane and Eastcote areas of outer-north west London. The cinema opened to the public on 12 October 1936. The front elevation of the building is very dramatic. At the left corner, three sets of double doors provide an entrance to the foyer. These are set beneath a stepped, curved canopy. Above, the facade is formed of three curved, white-rendered bays: a central, convex-curved bay and two shorter outside ogive-curved bays. The two outside bays have full height metal-framed windows following the same ogive-curve. Within the central bay the curve of the windows is reversed, in a bold, concave curve. The void created between the curves is filled by a stylised concrete form, likened to an elephant's head and trunk. From the roof parapet of the central bay a feature... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Church, Cinema

Hoover Factory Building No 7, London

The Hoover Factory Building No 7

Western Avenue Greenford, Middlesex, UB6 8DW

Building No 7 is part of the former Hoover Factory complex in Perivale, west London. It is one of three surviving structures from the site, built between 1932 and 1938. The site is alongside the A40 arterial route, which runs from the City of London to Fishguard in Wales. Building No 7 is next to the former main office building. Together they are an impressive sight for commuters and visitors entering and leaving London. The Hoover factory site was built for the American Hoover Company as part of the company's expansion plans, when it established a manufacturing base for the company's British vacuum cleaner division. The main office building was constructed in 1932 and subsequently extended in 1934. Building No 7 was built in 1938 as the factory canteen building. Like the main office building, Building No 7 was designed by the firm of Wallis, Gilbert and Partners. The partnership designed some of Britain's finest Modernist industrial buildings. In addition to the Hoover Factory buildings a concentration of buildings by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners can be found on the 'Golden Mile' stretch of the Great West Road (the A4) in London. Although complementing the main factory building, Building No 7 is different in its design. The main building is Art Deco in style, with Egyptian-styled motifs. Building No 7 is in the Streamlined Moderne style. Building No 7 is constructed using a steel-reinforce concrete frame and extends over three storeys. The building extends deeply along Bideford Avenue (which borders the western extent of the... Read more »
Tags: Factory, Streamlined Moderne

Hoover Factory, Greater London

The Hoover Factory

Western Avenue Greenford, Middlesex, UB6 8DW

Standing alongside the A40, to the west of Central London, the Hoover Building is a remarkable landmark for commuters and visitors to London using this main arterial route into the city. Originally built for the American Hoover Company, the factory on Western Avenue was built as a manufacturing base for the company's British vacuum cleaner division. The factory comprised a complex of buildings and were designed by the firm of Wallis, Gilbert and Partners. The architectural firm was established in 1914 and in subsequent decades designed some of the finest Modernist industrial buildings in Britain, including the Firestone Building, a building of similar appearance and equal significance as the Hoover Factory building, needlessly demolished in 1980. The most significant structure on site, the main office building (illustrated above) opened in 1932. The building is constructed using a steel-reinforce concrete frame and has two principal storeys. The exterior is rendered in 'Snowcrete', a type of portland-limestone cement with a brilliant white pigment, that has good durability against weathering. The building's architectural detailing shows the increasing influence of Egypt on art and design following the opening of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter that was prevalent at the time. The building has a very wide frontage, of fifteen bays, with low towers at either side, set back from the main frontage. The windows within the bays are deeply recessed into the body of the building, separated by stone columns, with distinctive vertical fluting. The windows themselves have three vertical glazing bars... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Factory

Lion House, Richmond, Surrey

Lion House

Red Lion Street, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1RE

Throughout Greater London there are many Modernist multi-use buildings. Lion House on Red Lion Street in Richmond, Surrvey is a fine example of such an building, built very much for utilitarian purposes. Lion House stands in the centre of Richmond just off the central Hill Street/George Street thoroughfare. Like so many Modernist buildings in Britain Lion House provides a contrast to the traditional buildings in historic Richmond, not only in its style but also its scale (it is considerably larger than all the buildings in the immediate surroundings). However, opposite is another Modernist building, the Odeon Richmond which still operates as a cinema to this day. Lion House is a five storey building, primarily faced in light brick from the first floor upwards. The ground floor is tiled in contrasting horizontal bands of black and white tiles beneath a projecting canopy. The ground floor is currently used for commercial purposes. Above, the remaining floors mirror the banding of the tiles below with thick bands of white render below the window lines. The main elevation features ten bays, three of which are have curved bay windows for three storeys. The windows are Crittall-style metal windows. The right-most corner of Lion House features a projecting corner tower, providing an entrance to the building at ground level. The south-west corner of the tower features a corner window extending the full height of the tower with a projecting canopy lip, itself beneath a larger, flat canopy roof. There are three vertical flagpoles atop the uppermost canopy. The fifth... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Commercial

Oakwood Underground Station, London

Oakwood Underground Station

Bramley Road, London, Greater London, N14 4UT

Standing on Bramley Road (the A110) in Enfield, north London, Oakwood is a station serving the Piccadilly Line on London Underground. It is the penultimate station on the northern section of the line. Oakwood briefly served as the northern terminus during the construction of the Piccadilly Line, before Cockfosters station, today's terminus, was completed in 1933. The expansive underground network of modern London has its origins in Victorian Britain, and is the oldest underground system in the world. By the start of the twentieth century the network was beginning to extend out from what today is considered central London, to the suburbs. By 1908 the Hampstead Railway (today's Northern Line) had pushed out as far as Golders Green and Highate, but it would take until 1935 for work to start on a western extension to the Central Line from North Acton to West Ruislip. In 1933 the London Passenger Transport Act was enacted, consolidating public transport services within the 'London Passenger Transport Area' under the auspices of the London Passenger Transport Board (London Transport). The Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway - today's Piccadilly line - was one such line that was adsorbed into the transport combine. At the time, the line's northernmost terminus was at Finsbury Park, its westernmost terminus was at Hammersmith. In private ownership passenger fares were never quite enough to offset construction costs, maintenance, operation and shareholder returns, while having the capital to develop the network to meet future needs. However, with public funding now available the Piccadilly... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Transport

Osterley Station, Isleworth

Osterley Station

Great West Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4PU

Standing on the Great West Road, which runs west out of London to Bristol, Osterley Station is a station serving the Piccadilly Line on London Underground. In the early 1930s public transport in London was operated by a multitude of separate companies. This saw large companies such as the Underground Electric Railways Company of London, which operated a number of underground lines including the Northern and Piccadilly lines, providing services alongside numerous smaller companies. In 1933 the London Passenger Transport Act sought to consolidate public transport services within the designated 'London Passenger Transport Area' under the auspices of the London Passenger Transport Board (London Transport). Underground and over-ground lines, buses, coaches and trams were combined, although separate 'brands' were created. For example inner London buses were red (such as the Routemaster) whilst in the outer areas 'Green Line' buses were dark green. From the outset London Transport was managed by Frank Pick (1878-1941). Pick was an enlightened leader for the company, with an appreciation for good design. Previously, as Managing Director of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London he had commissioned designer Edward Johnston (1872-1944) to design a typography and Underground 'roundel' symbol for the company. Frank Pick had also commissioned British architect Charles Holden to work on designs for the Underground Company. Charles Holden was born in Bolton on 12 May 1875. He entered architectural practice in 1892 and joined the practice of Henry Percy Adams (1865-1930) in 1899. In 1913 architect Lionel Godfrey Pearson (1879-1953) joined and the practice became... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Transport

Park Avenue, Ruislip

Park Avenue

97-99, Park Avenue, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 7UL

Numbers 97-99 Park Avenue, and adjacent 101 Park Avenue, are three Modernist houses in Ruislip, on the fringes of suburban-west London. The houses are a stark contrast to the surrounding housing stock on Park Avenue of traditional, brick and pitch-tiled roof, mid to late-twentieth century houses. These Modernist houses appear a curious component of a traditional urban environment, until the story of the development of the three homes is understood. When plans were submitted to the local authority in 1933 by architects Connell, Ward and Lucas, there were initially rejected. Today, we might not realise just how radical and controversial these Modernist homes were. Everything about the design - the concrete-construction, the flat roof, the large glazed areas, the white-painted exterior - were "alien" to Britain. Modernist architecture was "imported" to Britain from Europe and there was a mistrust, almost a xenophobia (Modernist architecture flourished in Germany), towards this style of architecture amongst traditionalists. There were also practical concerns; the flat roofs and large glazed areas were considered unsuitable for the wetter, colder British climate. The revised plans were submitted and accepted, and numbers 97-99 Park Avenue were finally constructed in 1935. Subsequent plans for 101 Park Avenue were approved and that house was built in 1936. Had the British public embraced Modernist architecture, a whole estate of Modernist houses could have sprung up in Ruislip. As it was, no more homes were built in this style. Looking back, the three houses that were built were a failed social experiment in Modernist... Read more »
Tags: Housing, International Style

Perivale Underground Station, London

Perivale Underground Station

Horsenden Lane, Greenford, Middlesex, UB6 7NP

Standing on Horsenden Lane in Greenford, Middlesex (just off the A40 Western Avenue), Perivale is an underground station on the western part of the Central Line. Until the early 1930s public transport in London was operated by a many separate private companies, together operating a fragmented service to passengers. In 1933 the London Passenger Transport Act brought together public transport in London under the control of the London Passenger Transport Board. Tube lines, buses, coaches and trams were combined, although overground lines operated by the mainline railway companies were not included. Along with a massive merger and restructure of the combined assets of the disparate range of companies, London Transport embarked on a works programme to expand and improve the network. Essentially the private companies had barely managed to make a decent enough profit to reward shareholders and reinvest in the network, so much work was required. Using deep tunnels to push out into the suburbs and then above-ground lines, the Underground network was to expand greatly in the proposed 'New Works Programme'. The 'New Works Programme' saw the development of new line extensions, additional tunnelling and track work, new and redeveloped stations and new rolling stock. The programme, introduced in 1935, planned for five year's development. However, the outbreak of the Second World War saw plans put on hold. In post-war Britain London Transport was much less able to embark on an ambitious programme of works. Not only did the network suffer bomb-damage, but rolling stock, tracks and stations had been pressed... Read more »
Tags: Modernist, Post-war, Transport

Pinner Court and Capel Gardens, Pinner

Pinner Court And Capel Gardens

Pinner Road, Pinner, Middlesex, HA5 5RE/J

Pinner Court and the neighbouring Capel Gardens (illustrated above) lie on Pinner Road in the Middlesex town of Pinner. They were both designed by local architect H J Mark and built by the Courtenay Property Company Limited. H J Mark worked locally, having designed much of nearby Eastcote town centre and a number of fine buildings at neighbouring Rayners Lane. The two 'blocks' of Capel Gardens and Pinner Court lie to either side - to the west and east respectively - of the driveway from Pinner Road to Pinner Cemetery. They are approached by separate, private side roads. The two blocks are set back from Pinner Road by approximately 35 metres and between the blocks and the road are ornamental gardens, with curving paths, large trees, flower beds and grassed areas. From Pinner town centre Capel Gardens is approached first on Pinner Road and comprises a single building to the west of the Capel Gardens side road, and a further three buildings positioned around a U-shaped drive enclosing a smaller ornamental garden. Pinner Court comprises two L-shaped buildings to the east of Capel Gardens. The area sandwiched between the two L-shapes has a smaller ornamental garden and fountain. Art Deco style lamp standards stand with the grounds of both Capel Gardens and Pinner Court. The two blocks are generally built in the same style, with a small number of variations between the two. Each building is brick-built with white render and comprises three-storeys. Each floor has a combination of two and three-bedroom apartments.... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Housing

Rayners Lane Station, Harrow

Rayners Lane Station

Alexandra Avenue, Harrow, Middlesex, HA5 5EG

Standing on Alexandra Avenue in Harrow, Middlesex, Rayners Lane Station is a station serving both the Metropolitan and Piccadilly Lines on London Underground. In the early 1930s public transport in London was operated by a multitude of separate companies. Large companies such as the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (which operated a number of underground lines including the Central and Piccadilly lines) and the Metropolitan Railway (which operated London's first underground line), alongside numerous small bus companies operated a fragmented service to passengers. In 1933 the London Passenger Transport Act sought to consolidate public transport services within the designated 'London Passenger Transport Area' under the auspices of the London Passenger Transport Board (London Transport). Underground and over-ground lines, buses, coaches and trams were combined, although separate 'brands' were created. For example inner London buses were red (such as the Routemaster) whilst in the outer areas 'Green Line' buses were dark green. At the time of London Transport's formation, Frank Pick (1878-1941) - previously Managing Director of Underground Electric Railways Company of London - became Managing Director. In his previous role Pick has commissioned designer Edward Johnston (1872-1944) to design a typography and Underground 'roundel' symbol for the company. Pick adopted a holistic approach to design for London Transport, extending from simple items such as benches, lighting and bus shelters to expansive schemes for stations. At the time this approach of creating a 'corporate identity' was relatively unheard of, unlike today. In 1925 Pick first commissioned architect Charles Holden to design the seven stations... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Transport

Southgate Underground Station, London

Southgate Underground Station

Station Parade, Southgate, London, Greater London, N14 5BH

Standing on a roundabout at the junction of the A1004 High Street in Southgate and the A111 running east-west, Southgate Underground Station serves the Piccadilly Line on the London Underground network. The earliest Underground lines in London were constructed by the 'cut and cover' method. These tunnels were usually constructed under London's streets to avoid disturbance and potential subsidence to residential and commercial properties. Cut and cover tunnels were built at a fairly shallow depth and construction typically involved the excavation of a trench and the building of tunnel in situ before it was covered over. The use of cut and cover lines was not always suitable, for example following street patterns was not the most direct or practical route. The construction of deep tunnels was the only viable solution for an extensive underground system in such a densely urbanised environment as London. These deep tunnels required new construction techniques and were more expensive than the cheaper cut and cover option. However, the deep tunnels allowed the Underground network to expand greatly and by the early 1930s the Piccadilly Line had reached its northern terminus at Finsbury Park. Further development of the Piccadilly Line was completed incrementally, pushing out from Finsbury Park in a series of phased constructions, first to Arnos Grove in September 1932 and finally to Cockfosters in July 1933. Southgate was the first station built after Arnos Grove. Although Arnos Grove Station is the first point where the Piccadilly Line emerges above ground in North London, Southgate station itself is... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Transport

Sudbury Hill Station, Harrow

Sudbury Hill Station

Greenford Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3RA

Standing on Greenford Road in Sudbury, west London, Sudbury Hill Station is a station serving the Piccadilly Line on London Underground. In the early 1930s public transport in London was operated by a multitude of separate companies. This saw large companies such as the Underground Electric Railways Company of London, which operated a number of underground lines including the Northern and Piccadilly lines, providing services alongside numerous smaller companies. The Underground Electric Railways Company of London was managed by Frank Pick (1878-1941). Pick was an enlightened leader for the company, with an appreciation for good design. He commissioned designer Edward Johnston (1872-1944) to design a typography and Underground 'roundel' symbol for the company. Frank Pick also commissioned British architect Charles Holden to work on designs for the Underground Company. Charles Holden was born in Bolton on 12 May 1875. He entered architectural practice in 1892 and joined the practice of Henry Percy Adams (1865-1930) in 1899. In 1913 architect Lionel Godfrey Pearson (1879-1953) joined and the practice became the Adams, Holden and Pearson Partnership. Initially Holden's commissions involved works to station facades supervised by Stanley Heaps (1880-1962), head of the Underground Group's Architects Office. Later Holden's commissions extended to complete stations; in 1925 Pick commissioned Charles Holden to design the seven stations of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London's Northern Line 1926 southern extension to Morden. These new Northern Line stations adopted a modern style which marked the beginning of Holden's influence over London Underground design. But it was Holden's plans for... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Transport

Sudbury Town Station, Wembley

Sudbury Town Station

Station Approach, Wembley, Middlesex, HA0 2LA

Standing on Station Approach, off Harrow Road and a mile west of Wembley Stadium in west London, Sudbury Town Station is a station serving the Piccadilly Line on London Underground. In the early 1930s public transport in London was operated by a multitude of separate companies. This saw large companies such as the Underground Electric Railways Company of London, which operated a number of underground lines including the Northern and Piccadilly lines, providing services alongside numerous smaller companies. The Underground Electric Railways Company of London was managed by Frank Pick (1878-1941). Pick was an enlightened leader for the company, with an appreciation for good design. He commissioned designer Edward Johnston (1872-1944) to design a typography and Underground 'roundel' symbol for the company. Frank Pick also commissioned British architect Charles Holden to work on designs for the Underground Company. Charles Holden was born in Bolton on 12 May 1875. He entered architectural practice in 1892 and joined the practice of Henry Percy Adams (1865-1930) in 1899. In 1913 architect Lionel Godfrey Pearson (1879-1953) joined and the practice became the Adams, Holden and Pearson Partnership. Initially Holden's commissions involved works to station facades supervised by Stanley Heaps (1880-1962), head of the Underground Group's Architects Office. Later Holden's commissions extended to complete stations; in 1925 Pick commissioned Charles Holden to design the seven stations of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London's Northern Line 1926 southern extension to Morden. These new Northern Line stations adopted a modern style which marked the beginning of Holden's influence over... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco, Transport

Towers Cinema Hornchurch, Essex

Towers Cinema Hornchurch

31 High Street, Hornchurch, Essex, RM11 1TP

The Towers Cinema stands at the western end of the High Street in the Essex town of Hornchurch, which lies within the Greater London conurbation. The cinema was commissioned by the D J James' circuit, which operated a number of cinemas across the Greater London area. Like many of the circuit's cinemas the Towers Hornchurch was designed by the Kemp and Tasker architectural practice, founded by Leslie H Kemp and Frederick E Tasker. The design is striking and comprises a symmetrical faience-clad facade. The main frontage of the building is five bays wide, with chamfered corners and a short return before joining with the main block of the cinema housing the auditorium. The entrance to the cinema comprises three pairs of double doors opening into the foyer, accessed by steps from the street. Either side of the steps are two projecting illuminated displays windows. Outside of these, are ground floor windows, each with a panel set into the centre for advertising. Above the entrance is an illuminated projecting canopy. Above that, the outer bays of the facade are blank, with panels used to carry advertising hoardings displaying the cinema's film showtimes. The three central bays feature double-height windows, providing illumination for the first floor cafe. The windows feature prominent horizontal glazing bars. Above each window is a moulded panel with a bas-relief representation of a Chinese dragon mask and ornamental acanthus scrollwork. The central bays are separated by rounded, fluted columns. Above the double-height windows the facade is broken by two horizontal... Read more »
Tags: Cinema, Streamlined Moderne

A celebration of Modernist architecture in Britain