From: Cathedrals of Steam (2020), by Christian Wolmar:
“(John) Betjeman liked Broad Street, describing it as ‘a large and
handsome terminus built in the Lombardi style’ consisting of two
two-storey blocks with round-arched first floor windows and tall
mansard roofs’. Inevitably, given the Italianate style, between the
blocks there was a seventy-five-foot clock tower, decorated with
open ironwork and the usual clock, which looked rather misplaced
as it was too small for the size of the tower. At street level there
were two booking halls and elegant arcaded staircases on either
side of the station to reach the platforms, which were protected
by a rather plain and undistinguished train shed. Curiously, so
taken was the North London with this style of architecture that
mini-Broad Streets were built along its line, and various branches,
each of which invariably included a vast booking hall, an arcade of
shops and, incongruously, a billiard hall.
In its heyday at the turn of the century, the terminus of the
North London Railway had more daily train services than Euston
and Paddington combined, and was third in passenger numbers
of London stations behind its neighbour Liverpool Street and
Victoria. That did not, however, save Broad Street, whose use
declined rapidly after the Second World War and which, by 1972,
was described by Betjeman as ‘the saddest of all London stations’
and by Jackson as a station where ‘occasional trains creep in with
an apologetic air’. Part of the train shed was removed in 1968 to
save costs and the malevolent intention of British Rail was all too
obvious. Aware of the development value of the land, BR deliber-
ately wound down services further, paving the way for closure. In
fact, the proposed closure was part of a wider plan by the state-
owned operator to shut the whole of the North London line, a
decision that was fortunately prevented by campaigners and the
efforts of the Greater London Council.
Broad Street, unprotected by any listing and with many of its
platforms unused, was not so fortunate and, soon after services
stopped in 1986, was demolished to make way for the Broadgate
development, which, until the creation of Canary Wharf in
London’s Docklands, was the capital’s largest ever redevelopment
scheme. Broad Street’s best memorial was the successful soundtrack by Paul McCartney to his terrible film Give My Regards to Broad Street, which included a sequence shot in the near-deserted station.”
“3 Broadgate (see image above) transforms an important pedestrian link between two bustling public spaces; Broadgate Circle and Finsbury Avenue Square.
Originally constructed in 1987 to provide a marketing suite for Broadgate, the structure is located at the heart of Broadgate, which provides a popular pedestrian link between Shoreditch to the East and the City. On average 150,000 people pass through the estate each weekday.
The existing building greatly contributed to the creation of comparatively narrow entry points between neighbouring buildings 1 & 2 Broadgate and 5 Broadgate. Orms’ plans have sought to animate this open space, updating the building’s use as a marketing suite and activating its ground floor with a public facing coffee shop.
Orms have retained the cylindrical form of the 3 storey building and have created a larger arched opening in front of a fully glazed façade, creating better visual links and an increase in human permeability through the space. The existing pink granite cladding has been replaced with a veil made up of laser cut anodised aluminium tiles. The veil references the site’s past use as tenter grounds – tiles appear to be hung, referencing the medieval cloth making process.”