Stockwell’s concrete cathedral for buses

Fall asleep on a Go-Ahead bus and you might just be lucky enough to wake up in the depot – the soaring, concrete cathedral that is Stockwell Bus Garage. (It’s 100m or so from Stockwell station.)

Opened in 1952, at the time it had Europe’s largest unsupported roof span, the vast space inside (6,800 sq metres, or roughly ten football pitches) able to house 200 buses.

It’s by the (to be honest, not well known) architecture practice of Adie, Button and Partners along with Thomas Bilbow, the architect for London Transport, and the engineers were the firm of Alfred Edward Beer. The garage was listed Grade II* in 1988.

It is not generally open to the public, although there are occasional ‘open days’, and one hopes something will be organised for its 70th anniversary this April. 

You can peek in through the ‘exit’ doors though, as I did to snap the pictures below, which hopefully convey something of the scale of the place and that extraordinary roof.

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