An art installation has been unveiled at Piccadilly Circus station as a memorial to London Transport’s first chief executive Frank Pick, who commissioned much of the Underground that we recognise today.
The memorial – which was unveiled on November 7, the 75th anniversary of his death – consists of eight words entitled ‘Beauty < Immortality’ in Johnston typeface that are part of a permanent installation measuring 9.5 metres by two metres. The words were carefully chosen from notes made in preparation for a speech written in 1917 that the designers found in the London Transport Museum archives.
The concept is the large bronze words alongside an Underground roundel bearing his name. To one side is a small plaque that introduces the man, his work and influence he had upon Underground and Metro systems around the world.
Speeches were made by Sir David Bell (London Transport Museum chairman), Mike Brown (TfL commissioner) and the designers (artists Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell) who explained that the use of ‘<’ means that one leads to another, as opposed to one is greater than the other.
Read more in January’s issue of Rail Express