The London Gliding Club

Christopher Nicholson, Dunstable, 1936


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View of the club and Dunstable Downs from which the gliders are launched 

Mr O.Dell and H.L.Wainwright     Download Original

  • View of the club and Dunstable Downs from which the gliders are launched    
  • View taken from the highground, showing the 18-metre hangar opening    
  • View from entrance hall into bar    
  • Lounge from first floor landing    
  • Lounge and restaurant    
  • View of long curved window in lounge    
  • First floor landing    
  • View of the bar taken at night    
  • View taken from inside the service counter of the bar    
  • Detail of fireplace in lounge    
  • A     
  • The     
  • A     
  • A     
  • A     
  • Glider in flight    
  • Layout of building in relation to surroundings and the sizes of gliders    
  • Lower floor plan    
  • Upper floor plan    
  • Colour treatment in the interior of the ground floor bar    

A modernist club design in the Dunstable countryside to house gliding machines and provide a social space for its members

Designed by a Gliding Club member, the building combines the practicality of a hangar for 25 gliders and the social nature of the sport with a lounge of the same size.

The site is on high, flat ground on of a ridge in the Dunstable Downs, from which the launching of gliders takes place. The building is placed well back on the site to leave landing space free and allow a view of all gliding activities from the club-house windows. The hangar measures 27m in either direction, with an 18m clear opening. It is of steel frame construction, its walls and roof covered with corrugated asbestos sheeting.

There is a lounge running across the first floor above the hangar. From here, members can view the launching, flying and landing of the gliders through a 27m window that runs the length of the room.

The building's construction consists of a light steel frame, covered with expanded metal on insulating board, resting on a brick base. Apart from the kitchens and lounge/restaurant, the rest of the building is on the ground floor. It takes the shape of a rectangular wing alongside the hangar and projecting in front of it.

Interior design is credited to E.Q.Nicholson.


  • Begun: 1935
  • Completed: Jul 1936
  • Sector: Sports and leisure
  • Funding: British Gliding Association
  • Address: London Gliding Club, Tring Road, Dunstable, LU6 2JP, United Kingdom

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