london-underground

Historical Diagram: Piccadilly Circus Tube Station by Renzo Picasso, 1929

We all know that I love a good cutaway diagram, and this example – drawn by Italian architect and urban designer, Renzo Picasso (no relation) – is just superb. Drawn in 1929, coinciding with the opening of Charles Holden’s sub-surface circular booking hall which replaced the original 1906 above-ground Leslie Green-designed station building. The unusual perspective, halfway between the platform level and the (invisible) roads above, permits a wonderful level of clarity in the drawing. 

The only slight drawback with the digram is the strange mixture of English and Italian labels: “east bound” and “west bound”, but also “scala di servizio” (service stairs) – but this in no way detracts from the amazing quality of the draftsmanship.

The label above the famous statue of Eros – A “World Centre” – might perhaps be referring to a contemporaneous mural by artist Stephen Bone in the concourse that showed the world with London at its centre (naturally!).

Source: The Renzo Picasso Archive’s Facebook Page