105. The exterior of Sudbury Town

Enormo-roundelIf quantity of roundels isn’t your thing, how about heft?

Mounted just above the main entrance to Sudbury Town station is one of the largest, not to say thickest, roundels I have ever seen. It is an enormo-roundel.

This is wholly fitting, because Sudbury Town is an enormo-station. It’s another Charles Holden box of delights, but what a box:

Box cleverImagine having this on your doorstep. A few dozen people do. Lucky bastards.

Were plans for such a building submitted today, I suspect they would not be approved. We’ve become a population more bothered by back yards than beauty. Back in the 1930s and 40s, poverty, war and reconstruction brought people into the streets. Now it is planning permission sub-clauses.

Imaginative and exciting building could and should happen anywhere. If it’s breathtaking to boot, like Sudbury Town station, so much the better. I can understand people objecting to something if it is impractical or uninspiring. I can’t understand anyone objecting to something just because it is new.

Sud's lawThere’s a slightly restorative feel to a building like this. I’d rank it alongside tasting air after a thunderstorm or a dip in a geothermal spring. (I’ll leave you to decide which I’ve experienced most recently).

The reason could lie with the crisp freshness that still clings to Sudbury Town, like the folds in a newly-printed map, decades after it opened in 1932. Perhaps it’s the attention to detail, like the barometer inside the ticket hall. Maybe it’s to do with that most bountiful of all Holden’s architectural flourishes: natural light, which flirts its way around those always-ravishing clerestory windows:

Clerestory? Morning gloryOr it could just be that enormo-roundel, which leaves me a bit giddy, and also wishing I could have one on my living room wall.

Lifesize, naturally.

2 comments
  1. pele95 said:

    Great to see another page finished. Enjoying this very much. Keep up the good work. Mark.

  2. I can’t get totally on board with Sudbury Town because I disapprove of the font on the outside. That is not Johnstone.

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