London’s Most Beautiful Tube Stations

With over 1.3 billion people travelling on the London Underground’s 11 lines each year, people are usually in a hurry from A to B and do not spend much time looking around. However, the tube is home to a number of stunning stations, both architecturally and aesthetically. The London Underground has everything from art deco styling all the way to futuristic space age design and even artwork built into the walls. Here is a roundup of some of our favourite tube stations. 

Southgate

Southgate is one place you might not have been to unless you’re lucky enough to live near the end of the Piccadilly line. But what you can find here is one of many of Charles Holden’s station designs, characterised by their 1930s circular exteriors. Southgate station also adorns a tesla coil style ‘spire’ which makes you feel like you’re travelling in a time machine. The station’s art deco style escalator hall is one of the most striking of the whole of the tube line.

Arnos Grove

One of Charles Holden’s tube station designs, which is considered to be a significant work of modern architecture. The station opened in 1932 and was for a time the last station on the Piccadilly line extension from Finsbury Park.  The station ticket hall is comprised of a brick and glass drum topped with a concrete roof. Holden’s inspiration for the station was taken from the Stockholm City library. The station building is Grade II listed.

Southwark

This station was designed by Sir Richard McCormac and is a modern above ground station. Southwark was used to shoot scenes of Danny Boyle’s thriller Trance in 2013. The station gets more impressive underground as the station concourse has a blue glass roof made of 660 individual cut pieces of glass. The glass roof allows light to fill the main station area making it a light airy environment, unusual for an underground station.

Cockfosters

Another in the Charles Holden collection is Cockfosters. One station that you may have only seen if you live at the end of the Piccadilly line, or have fallen asleep and woken up there. The station takes inspiration from modern European design of concrete and glass and offers us a series of languid arches, which is a contrast to the avant garde style of Southgate. The station has been said to remind people of the shuttle launch sequence in Battlestar Galactica.

Westminster

Westminster station is a modernist work of concrete and steel. This award winning station box is accessed through a series of stacked escalators inside a network of pipe-like structures. The station has been compared to the Death Star as it has a very futuristic feel to it. The station has platform screen doors, which many think are for safety, but are actually to improve air flow through the station.

East Finchley

This is our final Charles Holden station in this series.  East Finchley station is another 1930s Art Deco masterpiece. The station was inspired once again by European architecture Holden admired. The station features escalators encased in towering semi-circular glass windows. Another striking and iconic feature is the kneeling Archer statue by Eric Aumonier which is situated outside the main entrance facing towards Archway.

Tottenham Court Road

Tottenham Court Road station is one of the busiest stations in the London Underground network and has undergone a number of upgrades and improvements over the years, including the removal of the Leslie Green Oxblood tiling on the facade of the station building. The station’s most iconic feature is the mural mosaic by Eduardo Paolozzi. Much to the dismay of the public, several sections of the mosaic have been removed to make way for Crossrail but will be displayed in the University of Edinburgh.

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