"Here was a most modern architect.
Whose modernity came from his mastery of traditional classical form, taken to abstraction.
Mass and volume, economy and efficiency.
The necessity of everyday living.
'When in doubt, leave it out' - His byword for the functionalist architecture he was to produce."
Charles Holden is best known for the London Underground stations he designed for the London Passenger Board in the 1920s and 30s.
Born in Bolton
1875, Holden was later a partner in the Adams, Holden and Pearson Partnership,
one of the most prolific and successful firms in Britain. Over the course
of his long career Holden designed buildings both in Britain and abroad.
From the tallest office building in London, to war memorials, a University
and the first of the great public buildings, the modern Underground Station.
both the architecture of the modern and that of the past. A master of
the traditional classical form with a profound knowledge of construction
and materials. His modernity came from his belief that architecture should,
'...throw off its mantle of deceits; its cornices, pilasters, mouldings...'
Holden believed architecture should be a collaborative effort, which explains why he declined a Knighthood, twice. A highly modest man, who was yet able to exercise such an influence that he was near hero-worshipped by his colleagues.
Holden's architecture was functional and accessible. More importantly he resisted the revivalist architecture of the period with his own sense of the modern.
Charles Holden (1875-1960)
Last Update 31/12/01