Art deco

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 "Art Deco". Click the building name or the "read more" link to view the building profile.

Arcadia Works, London

Arcadia Works

Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London, NW1 7FB

Standing on Hampstead Road in North London, opposite Mornington Crescent tube station and half a mile north of Euston Road, the Arcadia Works was built between 1926 and 1928 for the Carreras Tobacco Company. The company was established in 1788 and started business in London in the mid-1850s. By 1907 the company had a large works on City Road (which runs roughly from Moorgate north-west to Angel) in North London. By 1927 the company had outgrown its City Road works. The company commissioned plans for a new London headquarters for the company. Arthur George Porri submitted plans for a classical-influenced building whilst architect Marcus Evelyn Collins suggested a stylised Egyptian frontage. The Egyptian style echoed the increasing influence of Egypt on art and design following the opening of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter. The Egyptian design was married to Porri's overall scheme. The design of the building was credited to the practice of Marcus Evelyn Collins and Owen Hyman Collins with A G Porri and Partners as consultant. Marcus Evelyn Collins was born in 1861 and died in 1944. His father, Hyman Henry Collins (1883 - 1905) was a well-known architect having designed the New London Synagogue in St John's Wood, London. Marcus Evelyn Collins and Owen Hyman Collins worked in practice in London until March 1939 when the partnership was dissolved, although both continued in practice, albeit separately from the same office at 115 Old Broad Street in London. Arthur George Porri was born in 1877 and died... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

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

Bank of Ireland Building, Belfast

Bank Of Ireland Building

92-94 Royal Avenue, Belfast, County Antrim, BT1 1DL

Standing on the corner of Royal Parade and North Street in the centre of Belfast (less than half a mile north of Donegall Square and the City Hall) the former Bank of Ireland Building is one of the finest Modernist buildings in Ireland. The building was constructed during 1929 and 1930 to designs by Joseph Vincent Downes. Born in 1891, Downes studied architecture at University College Dublin before graduating in 1920. During his studies Downes worked an apprenticeship at the architectural practice of Lucius O'Callaghan (1877 - 1954) and James Henry Webb (1873 - 1955). After graduation Downes initially worked in London for Sir Herbert Baker (1862 - 1946) before moving to work for the practice of Robert Atkinson (1883 - 1952). Notably, Atkinson worked on the Gresham Hotel in Dublin, which was rebuilt between 1925 and 1927 following damage sustained during the Irish Civil War. In 1928 Downes joined the practice of McDonnell and Dixon (Laurence Aloysius McDonnell, d 1925; William Albert Dixon, 1892 - 1970), for whom he designed the Bank of Ireland Building. He set up his own practice in 1935, subsequently expanding the partnership. In 1943 Downes became Professor of Architecture at University College Dublin, before returning to practice in 1950. He died at the age of 76 on 23 November 1967. Built of Portland Limestone, the Bank of Ireland Building occupies a corner plot and is five storeys tall, with a shallow ground floor storey beneath a piano nobile (main) first floor. The building comprises three bays along... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

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

Broadcasting House, London

Broadcasting House

Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA

Located on Portland Place, north of Regent Street in Central London, stands the imposing structure of Broadcasting House, home of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) since the early 1930s. Today the building serves as the broadcaster's headquarters for news gathering, radio, television and online services. The building's original purpose was home to Britain's fledgling radio service, the country's first purpose-built broadcasting facility including offices and radio studios. Broadcasting House was designed by architects George Val Myer and Watson Hart, using a steel frame clad in traditional Portland stone. The building rises for nine storeys, with a three storey basement, and extends substantially north for some thirty-five bays along Portland Place. The building terminates to the south with a narrow, rounded main facade on Langham Place, adjacent to All Souls Church, by eminent English architect John Nash. The western side of the building along Portland Place, is higher that that to the east, along Langham Place, where the height of the building diminishes from nine storeys to six, so that it didn't block the light for properties on neighbouring Langham Street. The sloping roof used to bridge the change in height was obscured by the clock tower, a practical and effective design solution. The main facade rises for six storeys and is topped with an ornamental clock tower, with an oval shaped clock and, originally, two latticework masts for long wave and short wave radio; the mast visible today is a replica. Above the main entrance doors, atop a stone lintel,... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

Chiswick Park Station, London

Chiswick Park Station

Bollo Lane, London, W4 5NE

Standing at the junction of Bollo Lane and Acton Lane in Chiswick, West London, Chiswick Park Station is a station serving the District Line on London Underground. The Underground Electric Railways Company of London operated a numebr of lines, including the Northern and Piccadilly Lines, and since 1902 the company had also owned the Metropolitan District Railway, for which Chiswick Park Station was built. 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 Sudbury Town Station that set... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

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

Daimler Car Hire Garage, London

Daimler Car Hire Garage

7 Herbrand Street, London, WC1N 1EX

Standing on Herbrand Street in Central London, behind Woburn Place and within walking distance of Russell Square Underground station, is the former Daimler Car Hire Garage. Designed by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners, who also designed the Hoover Factory building and canteen in West London, the building was designed to serve as the headquarters of the Daimler Hire Car Company. The building basement served as a private car park while the upper storeys of the building provided parking for the Daimler fleet, necessitating the construction of a spiralling ramp, which gives the building its unique appearance. Constructed of reinforced concrete and extending over four storeys (and basement level) the building comprises a main block, with a central stairwell and lift core. Each of the storeys features Crittall metal-framed windows forming distinctive horizontal bands. The piers between each window are set with horizontal channels, mirroring those in the windows. The central core has a narrow, continuous vertical window providing illumination into the core. The facade is rendered and painted white, the window frames picked out in a distinctive green colour. The central core window and doorways feature distinctive green and black faience tile surrounds. To the left, the building extends for two bays, before a projecting block extends forward to accommodate a down-ramp to the basement. This left block extends south along Herbrand Street for a further three bays and terminates in a slender four-storey stairwell core, with a narrow slot window. The block rises for three storeys, the... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

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

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

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

Ideal House, London

Ideal House

Great Marlborough Street/Argyll Street, London, W1F 7TA

Ideal House in London stands on the corner of Great Marlborough Street and Argyll Street, just off Regent Street. The building is an impressive structure, standing out from the buildings nearby with is polished black granite facade and gold-coloured decoration. Ideal House was designed by architects Raymond Hood and Gordon Jeeves for the American National Radiator Company. The design was inspired by the American Radiator Building on Bryant Park in Manhattan, New York designed by Raymond Hood and John Howells and built in 1924. That building was an early skyscraper for New York so its tall appearance contrasts with that of Ideal House, however the black and gold exterior is common to both buildings. Completed between 1928 and 1928 Ideal House must have a dramatic sight when completed, contrasting against the more traditional London architecture on Regent Street and in the surrounding area. Ironically, the Tudor-style Liberty opposite on the south side of Great Marlborough Street was built four years previously, yet in architectural style it is centuries apart compared to Ideal House. The building was constructed of large polished blocks of black granite. The upper storey of the building is ornamented with an enamel frieze and cornice in yellows, oranges, greens and gold. The black and gold colours were the colours of the National Radiator Company. The entrances on Great Marlborough Street and Argyll Street were decorated with ornate enamel surrounds, although the surround on Argyll Street was subsequently removed. The building comprised some seven stories, with a recessed attic... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

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

Majestic Cinema, Darlington

Majestic Cinema Darlington

Bondgate, Darlington, County Durham, DL3 7JT

In August 1931 it was announced that a new "superkinema" was to be built in Darlington, located near to the corner of Bondgate and Archer Street in the city centre. Today, the St Augustines Way section of the city's post-war ring road pierces through what was Archer Street. The cinema was designed by local architect Joshua Clayton in the Art Deco style. As well as working as an architect, Joshua Clayton was an prominent figure locally, serving on the town council. The cinema was completed in 1932, officially opening on Boxing Day. It was built at a cost of £30,000 (nearly £2 million in today's money) and provided seating for nearly 1,600 cinemagoers. The cinema was fitted with a manual Compton organ "with full effects". The cinema comprises its auditorium and a three-storey frontage facing on to Bondgate. The Bondgate facade originally had a deep, projecting canopy with three sets of double doors providing access to the foyer (as illustrated above). Either side on the ground floor were individual shop units, each with a single piece curved glass window. Above the canopy are three recessed rectangular windows with ornate stained glass. Above is a decorative entablature with a reeded frieze and stepped cornice. Set above the entablature are three rectangular windows, again with decorative stained glass. The central section of the facade is topped with a parapet with ornamental tile work. Either side of the central section are single bay wings, each with a large, double-height stained glass window. Either side... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

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

Odeon Cinema Bridgwater, Somerset

Odeon Cinema Bridgwater

Penel Orlieu, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 3PH

The former Odeon cinema on Penel Orlieu in Bridgwater, Somerset was designed by British architect Thomas Cecil Howitt (1889 - 1968). Howitt designed a number of cinemas - at Bridgwater, Clacton, Warley,and Weston-super-Mare - for the Odeon chain. Howitt had previously worked in Nottingham city engineer's department and later in private practice in the same city. His design at Bridgwater aped that at nearby Weston-super-Mare, although the Odeon Bridgwater was a some-what simpler design than that seen at Weston-super-Mare. All four of Howitt's Odeons featured a square tower with a projecting flat slab roof supported by squat, cylindrical columns - the cinema at Bridgwater was the fourth of Howitt's cinema to use the slab tower. The corners or the tower are chamfered, as at Warley and Clacton - only Weston-super-Mare had 'sharp' corners to the tower. The east elevation of the slab tower has two slender full height, slit windows. A curved canopy projects outwards from the slab tower, above three sets of double doors providing access to the street via steps into the foyer. To the left on Penel Orlieu (when looking towards the building) is the main wing of the building, in front of the auditorium. This comprises five bays and originally housing shops at ground floor level - with a canopy above - and flats on the first and second storeys. The windows on the first and second storeys are Crittall-style metal framed windows, the second and fourth bays feature shutters on the first storey and ornate, metal window... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

Odeon Cinema Weston-super-Mare, Somerset

Odeon Cinema Weston-super-Mare

Walliscote Road, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, BS23 1UW

The Odeon cinema in Weston-super-Mare stands on the corner of Walliscote Road and Regent Street, a quarter of a mile from the sea front of the North Somerset town. The building is an imposing structure and arguably one of the finest buildings constructed for the Odeon cinema chain. The building was designed by British architect Thomas Cecil Howitt (1889 - 1968). Howitt is responsible for a number of significant twentieth century buildings in Nottingham, where he worked in the city engineer's department and later in private practice. Howitt also went on to design a number of cinemas for the Odeon chain. His designs for cinemas at Warley, Weston-super-Mare, Bridgwater and Clacton were all based around a dominant design theme, a square tower with a projecting flat slab roof supported by squat, cylindrical columns. At Weston-super-Mare the tower is positioned at the corner of the site, above and behind the foyer. A curved canopy projects outwards from the slab tower, above five sets of double doors providing access to the street via steps into the foyer. Howitt used a second smaller tower to the left of the slab tower (when looking towards the building from Regent Street), with a large double-height metal framed window. The two 'wings' (enclosing the auditorium behind) either side of the towers on Regent Street and Walliscote Road are both three storeys high, with shop units at ground floor level and offices and rooms above. The Regent Street elevation comprises three bays with Crittall-style metal framed windows. The windows in... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

Odeon Cinema Wolverhampton, West Midlands

Odeon Cinema Wolverhampton

Skinner Street, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV1 4LD

The former Odeon Cinema stands on Skinner Street in the centre of Wolverhampton. The Mayor Of Wolverhampton, Sir Charles Mander, officially opened the cinema on 11 September 1937. The cinema was designed by Harry Weedon and P.J. Price. The design was distinguished by a main tower. Set on the left hand side of the building the tall, slender tower features two projecting vertical 'ribs' clad in black faience. The front of the tower itself is clad in buff faience while the sides are characterised with projecting vermilion red horizontal 'ribs'. The 'ribs' terminate just short of the full height of the tower to allow the 'Odeon' name to be displayed prominently. At ground floor level the main entrance sits beneath a projecting canopy which terminates to the left in a 180 degree curve, and to the right in an elaborate 'scroll'. The entrance is clad in black faience with slender horizontal bands of green faience. Advertising boards are located either side of the main entrance. Above the canopy, the facade is clad in three vertical bands of buff faience separate by projecting brick piers. The central band is double the width of the outside bands and is broken mid-height by two slot windows. The uppermost section of faience is broken by further vermilion red horizontal 'ribs'. To the right the auditorium is stepped down in height. Its facade features five tall, double height windows, surrounded by black faience - broken with further horizontal bands of green faience - set into a projecting... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

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

Park Royal Station, London

Park Royal Station

Western Avenue, London, Greater London, W5 3EL

Standing on Western Avenue, which runs west out of London, Park Royal Station serves 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 the practice, forming the Adams, Holden and Pearson Partnership. Initially Holden's... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

Penarth Pier Pavilion, Penarth

Penarth Pier Pavilion

The Esplanade, Penarth, Wales, CF64 3AU

Penarth Pier stands at the junction of Beach Road and The Esplanade in the Welsh seaside town, a couple of miles south of Cardiff. The original pier was designed by H F Edwards and construction began at the beginning of 1894, before its official opening on 4 February 1895. The original pier was fairly simple in form, with a wider landward section, a narrow pier neck, a wider central section housing two shelter structures, and a further narrower section leading to a wider pier head. The pier had a pavilion at its head and two ornamental toll houses, with adjoining small shops, at the landward end. In 1926 the owners of Penarth Pier set about making improvements to the structure. The first stage saw the construction of a concrete landing stage at the pier head, allowing steam ships to call at the pier for pleasure trips. The original toll houses and shops were demolished and a much larger shore-end pavilion building was constructed from concrete. To allow the construction of the new pier pavilion the shore end was widened by the firm of Messrs MacDonald of Avergavenney, to incorporate a supporting concrete frame. The pavilion itself was built by Messrs E J Smith of Cardiff. Designed by M F Edwards, the pavilion adopted the fashionable Art Deco style, with Mughal architectural influences. The most famous example of a building from the Mughal empire period is the Taj Mahal palace at Agra, India. The form of the pavilion is of an elongated rectangular block extending along... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

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

Portland Place, London

Portland Place

66 - 68 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD

Between 1957 and 1958 the Royal Institute of British Architects extended its existing headquarters at 66 Portland Place in Central London to meet the expanding accommodation requirements of the organisation. The extensions - both upwards and outwards - were designed to harmonise with the existing Modernist building, designed by British architect George Grey Wornum. His design for 66 Portland Place was implemented between 1933, when the foundation stone was laid by the 8th Baron Howard de Walden on 28 June, and 1934 when the building was officially opened on 8 November by King George V and Queen Mary. Wornum's design for 66 Portland Place saw the construction of a large, six storey building occupying a corner plot. The building extends for three bays along Portland Place, and extends deeply for eleven bays down Weymouth Street. Outwardly the building appears to be built of Portland Stone, but it is in reality built around a steel-frame and reinforced concrete core. The ground floor facade on both elevations has rusticated stonework beneath a plain architrave. There are double height windows to the first and second storeys on both elevations, with smaller square windows to the third floor and fifth floors. The front elevation has a large window in the central bay, extending to the third storey. There is a balcony on the third storey along Weymouth Street. The Portland Place elevation features a bas-relief figure titled 'Architectural Aspiration', while on the Weymouth Street elevation are five bas-relief figures of a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

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

Regal Cinema Melton Mowbray

Regal Cinema Melton Mowbray

8 King Street, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE13 1XA

Standing on the corner of King Street and St Mary's Way in the Leicestershire town of Melton Mowbray is the Regal Cinema. The building is an outstanding example of a smaller regional cinema, all the more remarkable for having been built by a local company and operated as an independent cinema, and not part of a much larger chain like Gaumont, Granada Theatres or Odeon. The cinema opened in 1934 and was built by a local company, Denman & Sons. The design of the Regal Cinema incorporates a two-storey block facing onto King Street, projecting from the cinema's auditorium that can be seen behind and above the street frontage, most notably along St Mary's Way. Whilst the auditorium is clad in red brick, the King Street frontage is clad in faience tiles, in shades of orange and blue, with the base of the frontage clad in light-grey faience. The intricate design of the faience enlivens the frontage and makes it one of the most colourful cinemas in Britain. The King Street frontage comprises two two-bay, two storey wings either side of a central section. The wings have projecting pilasters at each corner, which were originally clad in faience tiles but have been subsequently covered in render. The inner pilasters are taller; all are topped with square, faience tile-clad capitals. Each of the bays is bordered by a projecting surround of narrow blue-coloured faience tiles. Inside the border, the ground and first-floors are illuminated by tall, narrow windows. The white-painted metal-framed windows... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

RIBA Headquarters, London

RIBA Headquarters

66 - Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD

Standing on the corner of Portland Place and Weymouth Street near to London's Regents Park, 66 Portland Place is an impressive Art Deco office building serving as the headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The RIBA, founded in 1834, is the professional body for architects in the United Kingdom. The RIBA received its Royal Charter in 1837. Today the organisation has a membership of over 40,000 professionals. The RIBA offers support and training to its membership, it seeks to inform and influence government policy, and has a public programme of different activities from exhibitions to talks. Since 1859 the RIBA had been headquartered at 9 Conduit Street (now a trendy restaurant), just off Regent Street in London. However, the RIBA had outgrown the building and in 1929 a competition was announced inviting submissions for a new headquarters for the RIBA, to be completed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the organisation. By 1932, some 284 submissions had been received by the RIBA. The winning design was by British architect George Grey Wornum. George Grey Wornum as born on 17 April 1888 and entered architectural practice in 1906. In 1916, whilst serving with the Artist Rifles (a regiment of the British Army originally formed in 1859 by volunteers from the creative arts) in the First World War, Wornum was seriously injured. He suffered leg injuries and lost his right eye. He resumed architectural practice after the war and in 1929 submitted plans to the RIBA. In... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

Sinclair's Department Store, Belfast

Sinclairs Department Store

89-101 Royal Avenue, Belfast, County Antrim, BT1 1FE

Standing on the corner of Royal Parade and North Street in the centre of Belfast (less than half a mile north of Donegall Square and the City Hall) the former Sinclair's Department Store is a fine example of Modernist architecture in Ireland, in the Art Deco style. Sinclair's was once one of Belfast's most prestigious department stores. The store on Royal Avenue as seen today was built in 1926 in the classical style. By 1935, Sinclair's was extended with an Art Deco-style addition by Belfast-born architect James Scott, who had previously designed the 1926 building. At its height the store had premises had on North Street, Lower Garfield Street and Royal Avenue. The three streets form a triangle with Royal Avenue to the west, North Street to the east, Lower Garfield Street to the south and with the 1935 addition to the north, at the 'point' of the triangle. According to the Irish Architectural Archive James Scott was born in 1875/76 and died in 1949/50. He designed a number of building in Belfast, but the Sinclair's Department Store commissions were arguably his most significant works. For the 1935 addition to the department store, Scott used a corner site on Royal Avenue and North Street, opposite the Art Deco-style Bank of Ireland building. By occupying a corner site, Scott was able to produce a dramatic, expansive scheme, with facades on North Street and Royal Avenue, and the main facade on the corner of North Street and Royal Avenue. The building extends over five storeys,... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

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

St Olaf House, London

St Olaf House

27 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2PR

Standing on Tooley Street, near to HMS Belfast and on the south side of London Bridge in central London, St Olaf House was built between 1928 and 1932 for the Hay's Wharf Company. The Hay's Wharf Company was founded in 1867 ane operated warehouses and wharves on the Thames in London. St Olaf House was built on the site of the former Church of St Olave. The company commissioned the architect Harry Stuart Goodhart-Rendel to design a London headquarters for the company. Harry Stuart Goodhart-Rendel was born in Cambridge in 1887. As well as an architect Goodhart-Rendel was a soldier, composer, pianist and writer. In 1913 he inherited the ancestral family home, Hatchlands Park, near Guildford in Surrey. Hatchlands was beuqeathed to the National Trust in 1945 and was handed over to the Trust on the death of Goodhart-Rendel in 1959. St Olaf House is a steel-framed building, clad in white Portland stone. The building footprint is a T-shape with the 'arm' of the T facing onto the River Thames. The building is six storeys high with a wide entrance bay at the Tooley Street frontage. The entrance bay is lit by two large decorative bronze light fixtures. The building name is carried above the entrance bay in tall, slender gilt lettering. Steel columns divide the entrance bay area, with a entrance hall set to the rear. With the exception of the outside corners at ground floor level, the corners of the building are chamfered. To the right of the entrance bay... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

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

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

Summit House, London

Summit House

12 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4QD

Standing on Red Lion Square just off High Holborn in central London is Summit House, an impressive office building in the Modernist style. Designed by the British architect Joseph Emberton with his architectural partner Percy Westwood, Summit House was built in 1925 for the Austin Reed Company. The Austin Reed company was founded in 1900 by Austin Leonard Reed as a gentleman's tailor. By 1911 the company had a flagship store on London's Regent Street, and by 1925 the company commissioned the architectural practice of Westwood & Emberton to design its London headquarters for the company. By the 1930s the company had concessions aboard the transatlantic Cunard Liners Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. The company went into administration in 2016, before the brand name was bought out by the Edinburgh Woollen Mill company. Architect Joseph Emberton and his partner Percy Westwood formed Westwood & Emberton in 1922. Emberton was born in Staffordshire in 1889 and died in 1956. Percy Westwood was born in 1878 and died two years later in 1958. The practice was responsible for a number of designs for Austin Reed shops, including in Glasgow (on the corner of Gordon Street and Renfield Street) and Sheffield (on Fargate, near to its junction with the High Street) although these were in a more traditional style of architecture compared to Summit House. Emberton in his own right was responsible for some notable Modernist buildings including Simpson's of Piccadilly (in London), the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Burnham-on-Crouch and Blackpool Pleasure... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

Trinity Court, London

Trinity Court

254 Grays Inn Road, London, WC1X 8JX

At the approximate mid-point of Grays Inn Road in London, which runs from its junction with the Euston Road (near to Kings Cross Station) to High Holborn, stands Trinity Court. Constructed in the space between the old St Andrew's Holborn Burial Ground (dating from 1754) and Grays Inn Road, Trinity Court is an impressive Modernist-style residential apartment building. Trinity Court was built between 1934 and 1935 to plans drawn up by the London-based architectural practice of F Taperell and Haase. Another example of their work is Heathview, on Gordon House Road in north London (near to Gospel Oak Overground station). Although somewhat wider than Trinity Court, the similarities between Heathview and Trinity Court are plain, particularly the bay windows treatment, the balconies and their railings, and the checkerboard pattern on the steps to the entrance. Trinity Court stands out amongst the more traditional buildings on Grays Inn Road, not only in its style, but also in its stature, extending over nine storeys including a basement storey. The buildings is rectangular in plan, with its shorter sides parallel to Grays Inn Road. The front and rear elevations project slightly at each return, giving a Roman 'I' footprint to the building. Built using a steel frame construction, and clad in white-painted render, with a distinctive blue colour to its window frames and railings, Trinity Court is an attractive building and important example of 1930s residential architecture. At street level the main facade is five bays wide, with a central entrance with double... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

Washington Cimema, Penarth

Washington Cimema

1-3 Stanwell Road, Penarth, CF64 2AD

Standing on Stanwell Road in Penarth, at its junction with Herbert Terrace, is the former Washington Cinema. The cinema was designed by the Welsh architect Harry Teather (1867-1956) for the Willmore Brothers. The brothers, from London, already owned a cinema in the town called the Windsor Kinema, which opened in 1914. The Washington cinema was named after a hotel that previously stood on the site and was marketed as a luxury cinema. The design of the cinema is Modernist in style, with Art Deco style features and decoration. The cinema occupies a sloping corner site on Stanwell Road. The main block, incorporating the foyer, is a three storey block extending for three bays, with a smaller single bay wing to the left. The main block extends along Herbert Terrace for three bays, with the cinema's auditorium block extending for a further seven bays. The main three bay block features a wider central bay and narrower outer bays. On the ground floor steps lead up to the cinema entrance. Either side of the entrance are small retail units while above is a projecting canopy. The first and second storeys have window bays with a decorative architrave, extending for both storeys, with a rectangular key stone. The windows are metal-framed Crittall-style windows, beneath which are panels with a decorative herringbone pattern. The second storey is surmounted by a pediment, with a ribbed moulding and a central acanthus leaf-style finial. The bays of the... Read more »
Tags: Art Deco

A celebration of Modernist architecture in Britain