Chiswick Park Station, London

  • Bollo Lane, London, W4 5NE
  • Designed by: Charles Holden
  • Built: 1931 - 1932
  • Tags: Art Deco, Transport

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 the mould for London Underground design up until the Second World War. This new design language would be used at stations across the underground network, including at Chiswick Park.

Chiswick Park Station occupies an awkward, sloping corner plot at the junction of Bollo Lane and Acton Lane, set in front of the a curve in the District Line in south-west London. Between 1931 and 1932 the line was re-profiled to accomodate an extension to the Piccadilly Line, which runs non-stop through the station on two inside tracks, alongside outer tracks for the District Line. The existing station was demolished and a replacement built to the designs of Charles Holden.

The building extends along both roads with a block of two single-storey shops along Bollo Lane and three single-storey shops along Acton Lane. The shop frontages are broadly similar with a single door entrance, either a single or double-paned plate glass window and retractable awning above.

The main station building comprises a drum-shaped ticket hall and square, squat tower to the left. Towers have been used at other stations including Park Royal Station, although in that instance the tower is much taller than that at Chiwsick Park. The tower, is stepped as it rises to its full extend and carries the London Underground logo and station name.

At street level three wide entrance bays provide access to the ticket hall concourse. The ticket hall rises as a double-height, drum-shaped space lit by green, metal-framed clerestorey windows. The drum is topped with a flat, projecting concrete roof. Beneath the roofline station name and 'Underground' lettering are carried on a deep concrete band. The ticket hall is very reminiscent of the drum-shaped ticket hall at Holden's Arnos Grove Station.

The platforms and tracks are set above the ticket hall concourse, carried on a viaduct behind the station. Sections of both the platforms are covered with a cantilevered concrete canopy, providing shelter to waiting passengers. Elsewhere on each platform the station name is carried on raised sections of the brick parapet, and lamp standards provide illumination.

Chiswick Park Station is surprisingly unaltered, given the necessary changes in public transport, such as the need to provide travel information, and as a consequence of health and safety legislation. The most siginficiant modern addition is a brick ticket office, which obstructs the original open ticket hall concourse. This originally housed a small passometer and automated ticket machines. Original station signage remains in-situ.

The building was awarded Grade II-listed status on 18 February 1987.

References

  • Lawrence, David (2008) Bright Underground Spaces - The Railway Stations of Charles Holden Harrow Weald: Capital Transport Publishing

Posted by Richard Coltman on Sunday, February 5, 2012

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