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Inspirational Art Deco Architects

Art Deco architects who have inspired me. Below I list their individualities and similarities and why I love them. 

As you may know, I love architectural patterns, so this is a study in observing architectural patterns.

Acton Town Tube Station Art Deco Framed Print celebrating Charles Handy Architecture—an uplifting and contemporary design

Dr Charles Holden, Art Deco Architect - London Underground Tube Stations

Charles Henry Holden FRIBA, MRTPI, RDI, Art Deco Architect. He designed many of the London Underground Tube Stations, which I have drawn and sell as art and home decor and gifts.

I have noticed so far that there are four distinct shapes to these Art Deco tube stations:

  1. Square/rectangular, as in Acton Town (above)
  2. Circular, as in Arnos Grove Tube Station
  3. Tri-angular shape, as in Balham Tube Station
  4. Bespoke, as in East Finchley and Boston Manor which when I visited in 2023, experienced torrential hailstones that settled like snow in March 2023!

I feel that East Finchley Tube Station was designed to fit an awkward shape, you can see that many of the tube stations are set in undulating ground, which is something akin to graphic challenges.

I have searched for a copy of the design brief that Charles Holden would have received. I wonder how the architectural design brief would have outlined the goals, requirements, and constraints for each location. For example, why is Chiswick Park circular? Why didn’t he design more circular shapes in different areas? Was it more expensive? 

From my Montage of 15 Art Deco stations, you can see that most of the tube stations were built around 1931-1934. The latest designs were simpler, maybe constrained by budgets, as so often we graphic designers are.

I love Charles Holden buildings. He also designed Bristol Central Library and Senate House which was once the tallest building in London. You can see more of his work by following this Wikipedia link.

Shoreham Airport Art Deco designed by R. Stavers Hessell Tiltman

R. Stavers Hessell Tiltman (1888-1968) - Shoreham / Brighton City Airport

Stavers Hessell Tiltman designed Shoreham / Brighton City Airport which is a Streamline Moderne design. I feel blessed to live so close to this beautiful building and I know it is a favourite with pilots flying in from other areas, to be greeted by this iconic architecture. 

I love the perfect collaboration of curves and straight lines in Streamline Moderne, one of the many styles borne during the Art Deco period era. 

Stavers Hessell Tiltman was born in Staffordshire and after leaving the army, he worked as an architect in Haywards Heath. Apart from Brighton City Airport, this architect designed many Brighton pubs which are a completely different style. 

Again, I am intrigued by architects’ design briefs and I wonder what their favourite styles were and if the architect had an open brief, what their buildings would look like. I like to think that this magnificent airport, in Streamline Moderne,  was a favourite style of Stavers Hessell Tiltman. Useful links if you want to find out more are these articles in The Beauty of Transport and AHRnet – Biographical Dictionary of British and Irish Architects.

If you find Streamline Moderne as therapeutic and uplifting as me, you can read more about it here. I will be drawing more of these buildings soon. Please subscribe to my mailing list to see my latest designs. If you have any further information that you feel is missing from my bio, then please contact me. 

Croydon Airport was designed by H.G.Oakley  and C.H.Andrews at the Air Ministry

Architects, H.G.Oakley and C.H.Andrews, at Air Ministry, designed Croydon Airport

Croydon Airport was designed by H.G.Oakley and C.H.Andrews at the Air Ministry. I was treated to a tour of Croydon Airport, in my birth town in 2022, and was intrigued by how different it is to the Streamline Moderne architecture of Brighton City Airport.

I am in the process of researching more information about these architects. However, sadly, searches for names are not currently producing any results. I find it sad that the lives of creatives working within an organisation are ‘hidden’. I would like to learn of other buildings these architects worked on.

All I can currently find is that Andrews was the lead architect and headed up a team called WB3, which included architectural draughtsmen to create the drawings.

As you walk inside this building, it feels grand. I feel little amongst the high ceilings. It certainly has air af authority, in contrast to Brighton Airport, which has a fashionable and relaxed feel.  Even though the rich and famous, like Charlie Chaplin and John F Kennedy, flew from Croydon Airport.

My Croydon Airport Art Deco art features the Handley Page 42 plane, Amy Johnson, the first female pilot to fly solo from UK to Oz, and a Bedford SB Bus!

I found I wanted to celebrate the architectural patterns in this grand building – by making them into stunning architectural wallpaper and gifts.

I wonder if the architects design their buildings to visualise who maybe walk and have experiences in their buildings.

The only reference to them is their names listed at Croydon Historic Airport. You can read more about Croydon Airport by visiting this link.