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!).
(I do not have the nerve to pick up my camera and shoot strangers, so I kept the camera on my lap, aimed in the general direction, pushed the focus button - did not even think to use live view - pressed the shutter and hoped for the best…)