A fresh new book by the founder of Designers Guild
Will Scott explores London’s most stunning Tube stations
A photographic treasure hunt across the unexpected architecture of London Underground stations
A journey across London’s most hidden architectural gems: follow Scottish photographer Will Scott up and down Albion’s stunning Underground stations
Thumbs up for travelling! Whether by plane, train, car or… Underground. Big-city dwellers see Underground stations as strongly functional, much needed and desperately sought-after urban pieces of decor, although never give them the time of day. While speeding up across the city’s hustle and bustle, we often glance around for the nearest metro station but not really appreciate their architectural uniqueness. That is why London-based Scottish photographer Will Scott just did the job for us, by getting lost in the British capital and waiting to unearth urban landscapes, which are widely exposed and yet invisible to our unseeing eyes. So how about giving London a fresh new gaze and rediscover the oldest and most complex section of underground railway in the whole world?
The first London Underground line was originally inaugurated back in 1863 with the aim of relieving the high surface traffic and bridge the distance between different neighbourhoods: the line used to operate between Paddington and Farringdon Street and accommodated more than 40,000 passengers-visitors on the day of opening. Such record was soon to be broken after the consortium led by Charles Yerkes took over the infrastructure and established the Underground Electric Railways Company of London: in the early 19th-century, countless route extensions were implemented until 1933, when the Tube got back under common public control with the formation of the London Passenger Transport Board. Multiple lines and stations have been added over the decades, with London Underground railway system being progressively turned into an actual fil rouge spanning over 150 years and witnessing the metropolis’ troubled history, architecture and constantly-evolving logistics.
UK photographer Will Scott succeeded to highlight and immortalise such invaluable beauty with his Architecture of the Underground photo series. With a soft spot for historical buildings, often decaying or forgotten, Scott drew major inspiration from a random visit to Arnos Grove station, whose charming design encouraged him to explore the London Underground suburban network further. No wonder that the Tube debuted as the world’s first rapid transport system and was immediately followed by similar projects in any corner of the globe – just one more reason to document this unusual architectural story which is basically unknown to the majority of people. For instance, did you know about a bunch of 1920’s and 1930’s buildings designed by Charles Holden at the northern end of the Piccadilly line?
The photo series is still in progress and – once 100% completed – likely to become a book or an exhibition. In the meanwhile, a few available shots already offer an invitation to discover small hidden gems scattered throughout the capital’s districts. What if that will shape a new way of travelling? A surprising scavenger hunt that leads us by hand across London’s less known areas? Oh well, the city has just begun to unveil its best architectural secrets!
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