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London's Most Beautiful Shelter?

01-September-2011
01-September-2011 0:00
in Art & Architecture
by Peter Berthoud

Outside Green Park station work to relocate this statue and fountain is almost complete.

“Diana of the Treetops” by Estcourt J. Clack was originally unveiled in 1954. To see pictures of the statue in the original location and for more details, see this previous post.

Diana of the Treetops in new location outside Green Park station

The statue has been fully restored and is now accented in Gold.

Diana of the Treetops accented in gold

It stands at the end of a ramp leading into the new entrance to the station from the park. The mound has been planted as a wild-flower meadow.  

New Green Park tube exit under construction

The hoardings around the other new entrance to the station, on the South of Piccadilly, are also coming down. This is the new station shelter seen from the Piccadilly side.

New Green Park Bus Station shelter

This seemingly modest structure has been constructed to the very highest standard. Beneath the copper roof is some beautifully worked Portland stone.

Portland stone at Green Park bus station

Portland stone is a staple building material in London, from St Paul's Cathedral to The National Gallery, The Bank of England to The British Museum. The Jurassic stone is packed full of fossils. Here at Green Park the stone has been skilfully worked to accentuate their visibility.

Fossils at Green Park bus station

The artist  John Maine RA has created a frieze relief that runs around the entire structure. In this he has carved new large scale "fossils" into the Portland cladding.

Fossils in Green Park station bus shelter

John Maine has a particular interest in setting sculpture in relation to landscape and architecture. More details about his work can be found at the Royal Academy website. 

Paving Green Park bus shelter

He is also responsible for the subtle granite paving outside the new station entrance. The whole structure has been produced with such attention to detail and such craftsmanship that a simple shelter has become a work of art.

The relocated statue and the shelter are both part of a £60 million project to provide new step-free entrances and new lifts at the station. Acanthus LW were responsible for developing the original design by Capita Architecture and there are a few more details at their website.

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