Stockwell bus garage
Lansdowne Way, Stockwell
1951–4, Adie, Button and Partners
Listed grade II*, 29 March 1988
London’s last trams were withdrawn in 1952, leaving a demand for garages to house the expanded bus fleet. There was steel for garages to replace those destroyed in the war, but for new depots, George Adie and Frederick Button resorted to shell concrete, aided by engineer A. E. Beer.
Peckham’s bus garage, now demolished, repeated the construction popularised at the former bus depot in Bournemouth. Stockwell is also spanned by ten concrete beams linked by thin barrel vaults and a ring beam, although its span of 59.1m (194ft) makes it a third wider than the Bournemouth garage, and it is also longer. The difference is the use of arched portal frames – giant ribs that rise from 4.87m (16ft) to 16.46m (54ft) at their centre.
Between them, the arched cylindrical shells soar still higher, and the cathedral-like effect of their vaults is further enhanced by roof lights. To ensure adequate loadings, the frames’ reinforcement bars were welded rather than lapped – perhaps the roof’s greatest technical novelty. Some 200 buses can be garaged here.
This was first published in 'England's Post-War Listed Buildings' by Elain Harwood and James O. Davies. Read a review of the book and interview with Elain Harwood here.
Read other extracts from the book:
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