Art deco delights in Nostalgic London
1) Hornsey Town Hall
You’ve probably seen Hornsey Town Hall without realising it – the art deco icon has appeared in countless films and TV shows, from Killing Eve to The Crown, thanks to its unique 1930s interiors. Built as council offices, the HTH, with its dominating tower and long windows, became a cafe, arts centre and events space for the local community after administrative headquarters moved in the 1960s. A current regeneration project aims to preserve the creative essence of the building, conserve the public space’s period features and turn some of the building into housing.
2) Broadcasting House
The curved and oddly asymmetrical home of the British Broadcasting Corporation was completed in 1932 as the BBC’s first purpose-built building for radio broadcasting. Characterised by neat windows and a bold art deco clock tower, the building can be found just off Oxford Street. It’s now two buildings, linked by a glass extension, and it is the place where much of the channel’s radio shows and topical TV shows are recorded. You can’t go inside but there are sometimes events or art installations in the building’s courtyard.
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3) Eltham Palace
Half art deco mansion, half medieval palace, Eltham Palace is an utterly enchanting place to discover. Once an important royal palace, moated Eltham was a favourite with a number of monarchs. It was presented to King Edward II in 1305 and the great hall that stands today was built for Edward IV in the 1470s, while Henry VIII is known to have spent much of his childhood there. After centuries of neglect, millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld took the site, building a modern home that incorporated the ancient hall in 1933. Inside, it’s eclectic and eccentric. Look out for the gloriously art deco dining room, Virginia’s mosaic bathroom, complete with golden taps, and the centrally-heated enclosure their pet lemur Mah-Jongg enjoyed.
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