55 Broadway

Coordinates: 51°29′58″N 0°08′01″W / 51.49944°N 0.13361°W / 51.49944; -0.13361
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55 Broadway
LocationLondon, SW1
United Kingdom
Coordinates51°29′58″N 0°08′01″W / 51.49944°N 0.13361°W / 51.49944; -0.13361
ArchitectCharles Holden
Listed Building – Grade I
Official nameLondon Underground Ltd headquarters including St James's Park Underground station
Designated12 January 2011
Reference no.1219790[1]

55 Broadway is a Grade I listed building close to St James's Park in London. Upon completion, it was the tallest office block in the city. In 1931 the building earned architect Charles Holden the RIBA London Architecture Medal.[2] In 2020, it was announced that it will be converted to a luxury hotel. In 2023, the building was used for the filming of the Channel 4 reality TV series Rise and Fall.[3]

Jacob Epstein's Day and Night drew most of the criticism from the London public.


It was designed by Charles Holden and built between 1927 and 1929 (94 years ago) (1929) as a new headquarters for the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL), the main forerunner of London Underground.

London Transport occupied the building 1933–1984, followed by its successors London Regional Transport from 1984–2000, and Transport for London 2000–2020. TfL vacated the building in 2020.[4]


Faced with Portland stone and covering a site with an irregular footprint, the upper office floors of the building are on a cruciform plan, stepping back towards the central clock tower at the top. The cruciform design afforded the optimum level of natural light to the offices. The ground floor now contains a shopping arcade and has many art deco details. Previously, the ground floor was also given over to London Transport offices, including a travel information centre, cash office and a library. The whole building straddles St James's Park tube station, the east and west wings being immediately above the railway tunnel. When finished, it was the tallest steel-framed office building in London,[5] until construction of another Holden building, the University of London's Senate House (based on similar designs and materials).

On each elevation, the pediment above the sixth floor is decorated with a relief, collectively known as 'the four winds', although the four points of the compass are repeated twice for a total of eight reliefs. Each relief was carved by an avant-garde sculptor of the day.

Halfway along the north and east facades are a matched pair of sculptures, Day and Night by Jacob Epstein. The modernism and graphic nakedness of these sculptures created public outrage on their unveiling. Newspapers started a campaign to have the statues removed and one company director, Lord Colwyn, offered to pay the cost.[6] Frank Pick, the managing director of the UERL at the time, took overall responsibility and offered his resignation over the scandal. In the end, Epstein agreed to remove 1.5 inches from the penis of the smaller figure on Day and ultimately the furore died down.[6][7]

The function suite on the 10th floor of the building was formerly set up as a dining room for the Chairman and senior executives. At this level, there are also four roof gardens, one of which was dedicated to the wife of a former managing director in recognition of her enthusiasm in encouraging this early form of environmental work.[citation needed]

The building, first listed as Grade II in 1970, was upgraded to Grade I in 2011.[8]

In 2013, it was announced that 55 Broadway would be converted into luxury apartments,[9] once London Underground moved operations from the building in 2015 to their new headquarters in the Olympic Park, Stratford, London.[10] In May 2014, it was announced that the architects, TateHindle, would lead the redevelopment and, in June 2015, planning permission and listed building consent was granted: however, this was not implemented and the planning permission expired in June 2018.

In September 2019, a long-term lease of the property was sold by Transport for London for £120 million to Integrity International Group, founded by Tony Matharu.[11]

In May 2020, it was announced that Blue Orchid Hotels, a subsidiary of Integrity International, would convert the structure into a luxury hotel.[12] TfL vacated the building in 2020.[4]

Commissioned art work[edit]


  1. ^ Historic England. "London Underground Headquarters including St James's Park Underground station (1219790)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  2. ^ "Underground Journeys: Holdenesque". Royal Institute of British Architects. Archived from the original on 4 May 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  3. ^ Moreland, Alex (20 March 2023). "Rise and Fall filming locations: where is the Channel 4 reality series set - where is 55 Broadway tower?". National World. Retrieved 26 March 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Broadway". Transport for London. Retrieved 1 April 2023. The last of the TfL teams to occupy 55 Broadway moved out in March 2020 - our headquarters was moved to 5 Endeavour Square in Olympic Park, Stratford in East London.
  5. ^ "Underground Journeys: The Heart of London". Royal Institute of British Architects. Archived from the original on 4 May 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  6. ^ a b Karol 2007, p. 319.
  7. ^ "55 Broadway". Exploring 20th Century London. Archived from the original on 23 October 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  8. ^ "St James's Park station gets Grade I listing". Department of Culture, Media and Sport. 12 January 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Broadway". London Underground. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Tube's historic HQ to be turned into high-price flats". Evening Standard. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  11. ^ "TfL sells 'family silver' 55 Broadway HQ to hotels entrepreneur for £120m". Evening Standard. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Blue Orchid Hotels to open St James's Park property". Business Traveller. 29 May 2020. Retrieved 30 November 2020.


  • Modern Architectural Sculpture, Ed. William Aumonier, The Architectural Press, London 1930
  • Karol, Eitan (2007). Charles Holden: Architect. Shaun Tyas. ISBN 978-1-900289-81-8.

External links[edit]