Bicknell and Hamilton
Paddington Maintenance Depot, Harrow Road W2. Designed by Paul Hamilton of Bicknell and Hamilton for British Rail. Built 1966–68. Listed
Emerging from below the Westway, the offices and boiler house of the former maintenance building for Paddington’s fleet of parcel vans form an intriguing and highly distinctive landmark on the A40. Built on a tight, triangular wedge of land beside the elevated dual carriageway, the building is surrounded on all sides by roads. Access is down a ramp that curves around the workshop building (now Nissan Design Europe HQ) and emerges in a dense cluster of massive and darkly stained concrete supports for the monumental roof formed by the Westway road. Sitting in this somewhat forbidding site, Bicknell and Hamilton’s building with its bright glazed ceramic mosaic surface, funnel-like chimneys, continuous ribbon glazing and curved, extruded forms is very beautiful.