The future at Paddington without the Leslie Green building (Source: Paddington)
Today news is out that Paddington Cube, designed by Renzo Piano, has been given the go ahead. It will soar upon the site of the old mail sorting office.
The nearby Bakerloo Line entrance will be relocated and provided with direct escalators from street level.
The Bakerloo entrance with the old sorting office behind in London Street.
Paddington tube station, opened 1 December 1913, is one of only three on the Bakerloo provided without surface buildings. It was the very first of a new phase of tube stations to have escalators instead of lifts, thus surface buildings became totally unnecessary.
— Sir William Davenant (@SirWilliamD) December 26, 2014
Tweet depicting the Paddington tube entrance – before the GWR building behind had been completed.
The entrance is unusual in being an intermediary between Leslie Green’s designs (Elephant – Edgware Road with lifts) and the modifications by Stanley Heaps (Paddington – Kilburn Park with escalators.) Instead of iron railing surrounds (as at Trafalgar Square/Piccadilly Circus & elsewhere) this delightfully decorated small building was provided.
The London Street side of the tube entrance clearly showing its Leslie Green tiling.
Clearly the structure, with its motley collection of roof-fans, abandoned street signs, is these days unloved.
Originally it had smartly tiled interior walls with roundels, a glazed canopy, an arch and decorative lights. The exterior tiles are in the classic Green style which is an oxblood red faience colour. Possibly as a result of wartime economy or damage the more decorative bits vanished and it became austere, an appearance retained to this day.
It holds the record for the deepest flight of stairs from street level to the ticket hall. That’s a reason to get rid of it! 🙁
Even though its unique in terms of London underground history, the structure is not listed and WILL be knocked to the ground. A rare opportunity to see a Leslie Green building swept away in the name of progress.
It’s a case of goodbye Leslie Green, hello Paddington Cube!