Earls Court Exhibition Centre

Charles Howard Crane
London, 1937

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The most recognisable entrance is the Warwick Road entrance facing the underground station, and the the exhibition offices are placed, on the three floors over the marquise 

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  • The most recognisable entrance is the Warwick Road entrance facing the underground station, and the the exhibition offices are placed, on the three floors over the marquise    
  • Warwick Road entrance    
  • Triangular in shape, the site has good access at two of its corners, and the West London Extension Railway, running the full length of the east side makes the delivary of heavy goods easy    
  • The source of the main construction difficulty in the form of the six lines of railway track (two single and two double) curving to the north-east across the site from Earls Court station    
  • West elevation    
  • Subsidery entrance    
  • The main floor has been raised fifteen feet. The gentle slope of the approach roads taking pedestrians up this height without any difficulty    
  • Turnstiles and ticket office are plain and straight-forward    
  • The moveable floor in swimming pool position    
  • Gallery seating is permanent, but during special displays temporary seating can be installed    
  • The main hall under construction with the travelling gantry for erecting the trusses    
  • Fresh air inlets and ducts are left exposed    
  • In the restaurant a certain amount has been done with painted wooden beadings but overall concrete is left as concrete and brick as brick    
  • View over Earls Court Station    
  • Station concourse    
  • Site plan    
  • Basement plan    
  • Main floor plan    
  • Upper floor plan    
  • Cross section    
  • Section through pool    
  • Swimming pool under construction    
  • Detail of swimming pool    

Data

  • Completed: 1937
  • Floor area: 40,000m2
  • Sectors: Arts and culture, Sports and leisure
  • Total cost: £1.5M
  • Address: Earls Court, Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA, United Kingdom

Professional Team

The largest exhibition centre in London, built on a triangular site between two Underground stations in west London

The main entrance is on Warwick Road. The main floor is given over entirely to exhibition space with a swimming pool in the centre of the ground level. The pool’s floor can be raised by a hydraulic powered ram to be used as a normal exhibiting space or an elevated stage.

The upper floor contains further exhibition space, and between the two there is a mezzanine with a series of convention halls and four restaurants from which it is possible to look down into the main area.

The building has a concrete frame with the seven main roof trusses spanning 76m each. Much of the structure is left unfinished, with concrete left as concrete and brick left as brick.

The location of the large triangular site is as good as can be found anywhere in London with Earls Court station and West Brompton situated at opposite entrances and the West London Line running the full length of the east side. The main floor is raised fifteen feet so that the basement level would not interfere with the railway tunnels.