20 Things: Earl's Court

Special Project

17 — 25 Sept 2022

Architecture / Landscape, Urban Design

Earl's Court Station

38 Warwick Rd




Curated by

Supported By

Micro and macro, witty and moving, hidden and visible, ‘20 Things’ celebrates the fact that design is everywhere. Sam Jacob curates a journey through Earl’s Court – a London neighbourhood that showcases how design and place are seamlessly interlinked.

Earl’s Court is an area that designer Sam Jacob is not familiar with, but when he took time to explore the area, he saw it was a real slice through the city – from housing estates and international supermarkets to a range of communities, defining transport links and everything in between. Find links to David Bowie, Pink Floyd and more in this area of innovation, entertainment and achievement. “It’s a guide, but not a traditional guide,” he says of his 20 Things. Tour these below. To download a map of the area with all the activities click on "More information" above. 1. Earls Court Station - 38 Warwick Rd, SW5 9UB The first station with escalators and a classic of 1970s British Modernism. 2. Urban Gaps - Between 92 and 94 Philbeach Gardens Tiny wedges of space between two houses that are too small even to be alleyways, just a slither of light at the ends. 3. Warwick Road Estate - Warwick Road junction with Pembroke Road 1970s expressive architecture. 4. Fictional London - Junction of Logan Place / Earl’s Court Road Possibly where novelist Patrick Hamilton was run over and where Netta, the selfish exploitative character in Hamilton’s Hangover Square (1941), lived. 5. Archways and Mewses and stage set urbanism - Colbeck Mews Urban ‘problem solver’ from a different era. 6. Theatrical Domesticity - 39 Harrington Gardens Incredible Victorian architecture designed by Ernest George and Peto. 7. Making an Entrance: Land of Porticos - 24 Wetherby Gardens Entrances that act like buildings in themselves, mini temples, elaborate cake-like decorations. 8. Space Oddity - 22 Clareville Grove Where David Bowie wrote Space Oddity while living at his girlfriend, and short-lived folk outfit Feathers bandmate, Hermione Farthingale’s flat 9. Coal Hole - Earls Court Square The decorative infrastructure of domesticity. This one was made by Jas Bartle in Notting Hill. 10. Bollard - Farnell Mews A bollard like this one, hidden in a mews, combines extreme utility with amped up decoration. 11. Parkvert - Warwick Road junction with Old Brompton Road How might communication and activity, planting and amenity, be brought together in more engaged ways that can contribute to the city positively? 12. Blind Window - Kempsford Gardens junction with Warwick Road A window that cannot see is strangely perverse. This kind of blind window was simply a bricking up of what had previously been a window to avoid tax liability. 13. Hattie Jacques Blue Plaque - 67 Eardley Crescent Hattie Jaques was a kind of mythic character from a post war Britain whose obsession with double entendres masked a complex fear/fascination with sex and gender. 14. Nature Morte - Brompton Cemetery The Victorian idea of cemeteries as an integral part of the city was perhaps a healthier idea than our own separation between the living and the dead. 15. Panorama Board - Lillie Bridge The board explores the less important, the fragments of such a vast emptiness in the fabric of London. 16. Counters Creek - West Brompton Station Eastbound Platform Take a glimpse at this slither of marshy land. London isn’t just a city, it’s a landscape that includes geology, ecology, and hydrology. 17. Bryant and May Ghost Sign - 26 Lillie Road A little flash of time travel showcasing the sheer scale of the commercial graphic language. 18. Satellite Dish - 86 Lillie Road This object shows technology and heritage are bound together connecting earthly qualities and planetary scale. 19. Windows - 2 Empress Place For LDF, I’ve transformed a house on Empress Place displaying the relationship between eyes, looking and windows. 20. Blimp Weathervane - 14 Empress Place This modern version of a historic piece is a nod to the forgotten past of exhibition halls of Earls Court that were used to manufacture barrage balloons in WW2.