Art Deco in Bloomsbury


Former Daimler garage, reinforced concrete, built 1931, by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners

After a nostalgic tour of Bletchley (why do I bother?), I had time back in London to look at some Art Deco around Euston. A quick glimpse from the train of the former Ovaltine factory in Kings Langley put the idea in my head. There’s loads of stripped classicism to admire in Bloomsbury, but I wanted Streamline Moderne!

I found the old Daimler car hire garage in Herbrand Street. It’s a beautifully coherent assemblage of curved shapes and elegant verticals, with a gently spiralling ramp at the front for cars to drive up. There are lovely touches, like an elegant curve to one of the Crittall windows, the green tiles, and the decorative fluting. The central tower has a tall vertical window, and the tower’s corner windows reminded me of the façade of the former Hoover factory on Western Avenue. It was therefore no great surprise to learn that Wallis, Gilbert and Partners had designed that too.

The other Art Deco building was in Store Street and was also linked to the expanding car industry – a former petrol station. It dates from the 1920s, but it has changed use, so I’ve pinched a photo from Wandle 190’s blog to show what it looked like 10 years ago:


About aides mémoires

This is a chronological list of things I have seen, places I have visited, and thoughts that have wandered through the space between my ears. A reading group of one; an art appreciation society limited by my preferences and prejudices; opera criticism by one who knows nothing about the subject.
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