Holden's Legacy

Holden's Legacy

Photograph of West Ham underground station

Photographer: Janet Hall (1946-2005)
Architect: Van Heyningen & Haward Architects
Copyright: Janet Hall/RIBA Library Photographs Collection

There is no doubt that the designs carried out by Holden for the Underground have had an impact on subsequent railway architecture. Holden's 'brick box with a lid' format was emulated by other architects designing for London Transport during the late 1930s and 1940s and his functional style continues to be an influence with contemporary station designs such as Canada Water and West Ham on the Jubilee line extension. Recognised for his inspirational architecture, Holden was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1936. The early designs on the Piccadilly line extensions, along with 55 Broadway, are now regarded as modernist icons and have been recognised through their listed status awarded by English Heritage.

The legacy of the Holden and Pick partnership was considerable. Holden understood Pick's aspiration to produce work
of the highest quality and Pick's patronage enabled Holden to achieve it. But above all
they shared a moral philosophy about how a building should work both aesthetically
and practically. Together they developed a modern, classic style of architecture which
defined not only London Transport's image but that of the capital itself. 

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