Bright Underground Spaces: The Railway Stations of Charles Holden
Charles Holden is the architect responsible for many station buildings throughout London Underground which in their heyday of the 192s and '3s were unarguably radical, but in the post-Richard Rogers era of London station architecture, they are often easily unnoticed, or dismissed for their comparable humility. To me, and other fans of Holden's work, these station buildings are beautiful, both avant-garde in their time and yet still strikingly modern today. This book does deserved justice to Holden's vision, and what is particularly appealling is the repeated emphasis on Holden's somewhat Socialist design philosophy of no design being too good for use by ordinary people in their everyday lives (evident in the stations' design as welcoming beacons, and with incredible attention to detail both in visual terms and in the needs of travellers). Beautifully illustrated with fantastic quality original photos and sketches, and including detailed passages on every station Holden designed and had built (as well as unrealised schemes), this book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in London's history, transport and travel design, and the aesthetics of the art deco era. There is a lot of specific architectural terminology, though this isn't too complex for the non-architect reader to understand, and evidences Lawrence's impeccably thorough research and passion for the subject matter.
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