BRIX & MORTAR: Brixton Tube Station

Written by Faye Lipson, listings editor, as part of Brix & Mortar, a celebration of Brixton’s landmarks 

Brixton tube station. Photograph by Alistair Hall
Brixton tube station. Photograph by Alistair Hall

Built in 1971 as the southern terminus of the Victoria Line, Brixton tube station is one of the busiest inner-suburban stations in London with over 20 million journeys beginning or ending there each year.

As many Brixtonites will remember, it hasn’t always featured the glass facade and monolithic London Underground roundel which are visible from Brixton Road today. When the station first opened it was clad in a rather more dismal lead fascia with a smaller illuminated roundel jutting out on a sign.

The station only began to acquire its current appearance in 2001 when architecture firm Chetwoods was commissioned to redesign both the facade and the lobby. Improvements were made to the passenger areas and the ticket office was also refurbished. So extensive was the project that it was not completed until 2010, with the ongoing works proving an irritation to some regular passengers.

Whilst the station still contains a popular new kiosk run for 22 years by Brixton local Pritesh Patel, it used to host a number of other shops and premises including a record shop, photo shop and cafe. These businesses were closed as a result of an earlier refurbishment of the station, but the news kiosk, as a retailer of travelcards, was permitted to remain.