The iconic Art Deco Richmond station in South West London is undergoing a targeted programme of improvements, with funding of £325,000 provided by South Western Railway, Network Rail and the Railway Heritage Trust. The programme is just the start of work with a view of developing a larger project that would see the station fully refurbished.
The current programme of work will involve:
- Cleaning of the Portland stone facade
- Repair of timber entrance doors, including the polishing of bronze work
- Repair of flagpoles
- Refurbishment of customer toilets
The stunning station was designed in 1936 by architects at Southern Railway directed by James Robb Scott who is celebrated for his incredible work redesigning London Waterloo station. Robb Scott was also responsible for designing the stylish railway stations at Wimbledon and Surbiton.
It is thought that Richmond Station's styling was inspired by Charles Holden, who was the architect for London Underground stations such as South Wimbledon on the Northern line using iconic features such as:
- Multi-frame glazing
- Enamelled signage panels
- Iconic typeface signage
- Brick and tile detailing.
Richmond station bears similar features to those mentioned above, however, over many years have been lost or covered, including during the station's last large-scale refurbishment which took place almost 38 years ago.
South Western Railway and the Railway Heritage Trust have teamed up with Benedict O'Looney Architects for the project, which will include the restoration or replication of the missing features alongside others, as well as making improvements which will support the station into the future.
The project has seen the original hand-drawn plans for the station reviewed alongside photographs from the station's original opening. Further research has seen the original paint analysed by the University of Lincoln, which specialises in the conservation and restoration of the interior and exterior features of listed and historic buildings.
The project is set to be completed by the end of this year.
David Wilby, South Western Railway's Regional Development Manager for the Metro area, said:
“Richmond station is a fantastic example of the eye-catching Art Deco style that can be seen on this part of our network. We are delighted to kick off this project, working closely with all our partners, and can't wait for our customers to see the revitalised station entrance.”
“We've already made great progress on the timber entrance doors, including their Art Deco metal detailing, while the façade has also been cleaned in recent weeks. These are just the first of many original features we're keen to see brought back to life.”
“We appreciate our customers' patience while work is carried out, and it's our hope that we can find the funding we need for future phases.”
Tim Hedley-Jones, Executive Director of the Railway Heritage Trust, said:
“We are delighted to be working with South Western Railway on the restoration of Richmond station to help return it to its former 1930s glory.”
“It has some beautiful features that have been lost or hidden over the years. We are very pleased that, once again, these will be enjoyed by rail passengers and the local community.”
Peter, Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill, Chair of Network Rail, said:
“It's great to be working with South Western Railway and the Railway Heritage Trust on such a brilliant project that will sympathetically restore Richmond station to its former glory.”
“The investment at this key transport hub will provide a focus for regenerating the town centre and give railway customers a more welcoming feel as they pass through the station where they will experience its vibrant original Art Deco design.”
Councillor Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:
“The planned renovation works will have a transformative impact on Richmond station, helping it to better serve commuters in the borough. Residents will be able to benefit from modernised toilets and repaired entrance doors whilst enjoying the restoration of some of the station's historic Art Deco features.”
“Maintaining the borough's sustainable travel network is key to the borough's wider economic recovery. These works at Richmond station are one of the many ways our transport network is being improved to build a safer, more convenient borough for all residents.”