The Euston Arch was Overbearing, Badly Designed and Brutish – Throw it back in the River Lea

John Hayes Speech on plans to restore the Euston Arch

Perhaps it should not have come down but it was hardly a glowing example of classism anyway, but an amateurish example of faux historicism. Indeed it seemed to have been widely despised by victorian stylistic opinion formers – from Londonist

  • Gigantic and very absurd”, an 1851 tourist guide to the Great Exhibition, quoted here.
  • “A Brobdignaggian absurdity”, Augustus Pugin, 1850s.
  • “[A] sepulchral prison-like portico”, George Lynch, 1902
  • “A rather gloomy portal”, The Advertiser, 1939

It isn’t an arch but a gateway – a porta, follows no proper classical order, is out of scale, it original grassland setting can never be restored and as such would fail in providing a poor use of land not providing the gateway feature to a rebuilt Euston and looking completely out of place.  Ironically it is good example of badly done brutalism given the blank face of materials at ground level it provides.

The original full composition – as opposed to what was left in the 1960s, had some design merit

But you would have to reduce everything behind it to no more than three storeys to keep it in scale, and remove all motor traffic from Euston Road and surrounding roads – impossible.  Compare it for example in terms of detail and proportions to the infinitely finder Brandenburg gate.

Rather you get this pathetic mess.

It would be far better to design a new lightweight portico – soem recent good examples – first Tiapai


Cloud Gate Chicago



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