Tottenham Court Road Central Line
The 1000 square metres of mosaic installed throughout Tottenham Court Road underground station in the early 1980s were designed by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, who died in April 2005, aged 81. They draw their themes from elements of everyday city life and some of the locations near to the tube station. There are references to the British Museum and the Architectural Association, for example.
The first panel seen as you enter from the south east corner of the Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street junction was actually the last to be installed. It is an amalgam of ideas featured elsewhere, incorporating many of Paolozzi's long-standing interests. Further in, commuters pass through the abstract designs of the ticket hall and escalators, before entering the rotunda. Here, an image of a rushing pedestrian mixes with, for example, a mask from the British Museum and a cow and chicken, far removed from how they appear in the fast food outlets above ground. The Northern and Central tube line platforms have very different styles. For the Northern (black) line, the mosaics are harsher and sparser. The forms are rectangular and the tessarae are laid out in grids (opus regulatum). The Central (red) line has brighter, more flamboyant, designs.