Portal:London Transport/Selected biographies/2

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Charles Holden by Benjamin Nelson.jpg
Charles Henry Holden (12 May 1875–1 May 1960) was an English architect best known for his designs of some of the 1920s and 1930s stations on the London Underground, but who was already a distinguished architect before then, notably for his Imperial War Graves Commission cemeteries in Belgium and northern France.

Among his early architectural works at the beginning of the 20th century were Bristol Central Library and British Medical Association building in Strand. From the 1920s to the 1940s Holden was architect for numerous projects for the Underground Electric Railways Company of London and later London Transport. The earliest of Holden's commissions included stations on the southward extension of the Northern line to Morden in 1925-6 and a new company headquarters in 1927-9. The 1930-3 Piccadilly line extensions gave Holden the chance to develop a new type of station. Aiming for a striking and inviting modern appearance, he produced a set of designs based on simple, geometric forms built of brick and concrete. A number of these stations are listed buildings.

Many of Holden's later designs for Underground stations went unrealised or were scaled back because of World War II with only East Finchley representative of a series of stations planned for the cancelled extension of the Northern line to Bushey Heath and with stations on the Central line's extension into east London being scaled back by post-war austerity. Modestly believing that architecture was a joint effort, Holden twice declined the offer of a Knighthood.