The Tube is beautiful, and these illustrations prove it.
Stop sniggering at the back – however much you may curse the vagaries of the Piccadilly line, or moan about the neverending labyrinth of Bank station, the Underground is actually pretty blessed with some architectural gems. And just to prove it, Pound Place (with a healthy assist from illustrator Luis Gomez Feliu) have picked out 82 architecturally fascinating stations, and turned them into lovely little illustrations.
The drawings span the entirety of the Tube network, from Cockfosters to Clapham South, and from Barking to Baker Street. Oh, and it’s no coincidence I name-dropped Bank and the Piccadilly line in the opening paragraph – because Bank makes the list, and the Piccadilly line boasts the most illustrated stations. So maybe it’s time to show them a little more love, eh?
See also: The Underground’s most haunted stations.
The illustrations range from Art Deco gems to classic Victorian facades, with modern redevelopments at Canary Wharf and Tottenham Court Road also being immortalised on paper. In the course of their research, the creators uncovered some nifty little facts about the Underground – for instance, did you know the Central line platforms at Bank are curved to skirt the edges of the Bank of England’s vaults?
Indeed the facts are almost as fascinating as the drawings: Holloway Road had the world’s first spiral escalator (it was never used though), local residents had to fund Chesham’s construction since it was so far away from its neighbours, and Guardian architecture critic Jonathan Glancey named Arnos Grove station as one of the world’s greatest modern buildings.
The individual illustrations are a pretty charming lot, and they’ve also been collated into a poster for you to catch them all in one place. At present, there aren’t plans to sell the illustrations or poster anywhere, but if that changes, we might be snapping a couple up.
You can see the poster, plus all the individual illustrations, here. All images are courtesy of Pound Place.
Also published on Medium.