05 January 2014

Mr Brick's Underground Map

A Lego map of the London Underground, because, um, bricks?
Kings Cross Station, London, 30th August, 2013
The oddest thing for me about living in London is how my understanding of the city's geography has changed completely. As a visitor I would get the Underground everywhere, and while having one too many girlfriends to be a trainspotter (possessing, as I do, exactly one) I will admit to having a soft spot for subway networks. Travelling by Tube leaves you with a disjointed sense of spatial awareness; streets become mere exits from the city's sunken circulatory system and their relation to each other remains hidden and unknown.

Since moving to London I find that now, somewhat surprisingly, I walk everywhere. We live rather centrally, and most things we do lie within a twenty-minute walking radius. It is a rare day that the ad-filled escalators suck me deep in to the white-lit dusty bowels of the city-beneath. I now can close my eyes and picture the streets as they lie in relation to each other, I take roads less travelled to avoid the crowds, and take pride in offering tourists directions with a sense of near certainty that I am sending them in the right direction, approximately.

Still, my office lies just beside King's Cross Station and it was on its walls that I came across this wonderful sight, a map of the Underground crafted carefully out of Lego. Functionally useless but visually stunning, it highlights (as if that was even necessary) the simple and elegant design of Mr Beck's iconic layout. Part of a series of maps built to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Tube, the Kings Cross one shows a contemporary map with the currently under-construction Cross Rail rail-line in place, which I'm sure you all noticed immediately.

I'm pretty sure the maps have now been removed, but are possibly on display in the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden if you have a burning desire to see them. I know you all can hardly contain yourselves.

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