See Design Icons Of The London Underground

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 24 months ago
See Design Icons Of The London Underground
Ever stopped to appreciate the architecture of Southwark station as you move between the two sets of escalators? Copyright TfL

The London Underground is full of fascinating details — if you're not convinced just watch our Secrets of the Underground series. Many are hidden in plain sight — it's just we're in such a rush we often don't stop to notice them.

TfL has put on a small exhibition to highlight some of the great design features of the Underground system. Some are obvious such as the roundel and the Paolozzi mosaics, but we must admit we hadn't paid too much attention to the tiles and grilles that can be found at platform level.

It's understandable that station design features heavily in this show, from the relatively modern Jubilee line extension, back to all the stations designed by the architects Charles Holden, Leslie Green and Stanley Heaps.

The only downside is the exhibition's limited space; the amount of design icons on the Underground is massive and could fill a much larger gallery space.

In an adjacent room is a set of the principles that are considered when designing the layout of a station. Some are obvious such as 'prioritise the comfort of staff and passengers' but it's nice to see that 'delight and surprise' features too.

Viewers keen to see this exhibition should get moving as it's only open for another week and a bit. After seeing this show, we'll now be paying a lot more attention to each station we pass through.

Design Icons is on at Platform, 1 Joan Street, SE1 (behind Southwark station) until 5 Feb and then 8-13 Feb. On all days the exhibition is open 4-7pm, except the last two days when it will be open from 11am-7pm. The exhibition is free to visit.

Little details on the tiles may be easily missed. Copyright TfL
Can't do an exhibition on London Underground design icons, without the roundel. Copyright TfL

Last Updated 04 February 2016