Subpar no more! Croydon subways to get locally designed makeovers

Addiscombe Road subway in desperate need of a makeover. Pic Christopher Hilton

Some of the most neglected pedestrian subways that snake beneath Croydon’s street-level are being reimagined as works of art, following the launch of the council’s Reimagining Croydon’s subways competition.

The recent construction of street-level walkways has left six pedestrian subways sad and redundant, but by appealing to the public for artistic inspiration the competition aims to bring them back to life.

Applications can be for a specific subway or for all of them, a temporary makeover or a permanent one.

The subways are located at:

  • Croydon Minster
  • Old Town roundabout
  • Park Lane gyratory
  • Addiscombe Road
  • Lansdowne Road
  • Segas House

Councillor Paul Scott, cabinet member for environment, transport and regeneration, told Eastlondonlines: “This competition provides a fantastic opportunity to transform these unattractive underpasses from a time gone by into dynamic, quirky public places that people want to use.”

Scott has called on Croydon’s creative minds to “let their imaginations run wild and help us re-purpose these unloved tunnels.” 

London has seen successful regeneration of many subways in recent years, though these have been mainly confined to the city centre.

A neglected underpass beneath Marylebone Road was transformed into the red and white ‘Wonderpass’, making it an inviting attraction in itself. 

The ‘Wonderpass’ beneath Marylebone Road was transformed into a journey of delights. Pic
Matt Brown

The dramatic refurbishment took tourists and commuters on a journey through a ‘cabinet of wonders’, showcasing the area’s cultural attractions, including Madame Tussauds, the Sherlock Holmes Museum and The Wallace Collection

For more minimalist or modern inspiration, designers could look to the light tunnel at Kings Cross station, which opened in 2014. With LED integrated light panels running the full 90 meters of the tunnel, it has displayed lights-based artwork designed to invoke calm and harmony for commuters. 

Shortlisted ideas will be made available for the public to comment on from January 31 until February 16. The public’s comments and the feasibility of each design will be assessed by a judging panel, who will then make a final decision. The winners will be announced on February 27. Click here for more details on how to enter.

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