London by Design - review
'London by Design: The iconic transport designs that shaped our city'
By London Transport Museum
Published by Ebury Press (2016)
The book has been curated and designed by the museum's team of experts and serves as a comprehensive anthology of London's transport designs. These range from the ubiquitous, such as the roundel logo in its various incarnations over the years, and of course, Henry Beck's original tube map from 1933; to the rather more obscure, such as the Archer statue on top of East Finchley station.
The book highlights some of the remarkable architecture that has defined the London transport system, such as the Stockwell Bus Garage with its wide concrete arched roof; the dramatic concrete curves of Newbury Park Bus Station; the dark red tile exterior of Covent Garden station; the orange glow of West Acton station, and the 1930s Art Deco-style Victoria Coach Station.
But the book isn't simply an exercise in nostalgia focusing on London's past glories, as more modern examples of spectacular architecture are also included, such as Michael Hopkins & Partners' high-tech Westminster Station; Foster + Partners' vast Canary Wharf Station with its semi-elliptical canopy; and the futuristic curving blue-glass wall at Southwark Station.
While the book is well-presented, with some delightful images and illustrations, there is perhaps insufficient substance to make it worthwhile for transport aficionados. That said, as a tourist souvenir, or for the London-enthralled youngster, it is perfectly good.
Where the book is more successful is in highlighting the smaller and more subtle design details that all-too-often go unobserved, such as the steel uplighters on the escalators at St John's Wood, Eduardo Paolozzi's psychedelic mosaics at Tottenham Court Road station, and the roundel step nosing on staircase treads. In fact, even the most hardened Londoner who endures the transport network day-in-day-out, would find it hard not to flick through and find something from to make them pay a little more attention to the details on their next journey.
You can purchase the book from the London Transport Museum site.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Brutalist London Map - review.
- Charles Waldheim - Landscape as Urbanism: A General Theory.
- Crossrail 2.
- Danish Architecture Center.
- Drew Plunkett - Revolution: Interior Design from 1950.
- 'England's Post-War Listed Buildings'.
- James Crawford - Fallen Glory.
- Last Futures: Nature, Technology and the End of Architecture.
- Owen Hatherley - Landscapes of Communism.
- Stockwell bus garage.
Featured articles and news
What will the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) mean for you when they come into force in May?
Business Secretary chairs a new taskforce to monitor and advise on mitigating the impacts of Carillion’s liquidation.
Sir John Armitt is appointed the new chair of the National Infrastructure Commission.
High quality and high density homes - is it what we need or is it storing up trouble?
Government announces its intention to strengthen planning rules to protect music venues and neighbours.
National Audit Office reports that there is little evidence that PFI offers better value than other forms of contracting.
What is liquidation and how does it apply to contractors in the construction industry?
Scrutiny is placed on Carillion's controversial 2013 decision to extend subcontractor payment terms to 120 days.
RSHP unveil their involvement in a boundary crossing which will provide a new entry point into Hong Kong.
With PFI currently under the spotlight due to Carillion, this introductory article explains what they are.
Estimates suggest that up to 30,000 small firms could be at risk of non-payment as a result of Carillion's collapse.