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Me and My Icons

9 of 34 nominations

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The Hoover Building

The Hoover Building

Design aficionado Jeremy Myerson chooses a building often described as one of the finest Art Deco structures in the UK – the Hoover Building on Western Avenue in Perivale – as his icon of England.

Opened in the early 1930s, it was Hoover’s first manufacturing plant outside North America and one of several Art Deco buildings to line Western Avenue. It was used by Hoover until the early 1980s and stood empty until it was purchased by Tesco in 1989.

“My icon is the Hoover Building on the A40 at Perivale,” he said. “Designed by Wallis Gilbert in 1930, it’s an Art Deco classic of which George Melly said: ‘All that to suck up sh*t!’

“As a façade building, it is a brilliant contemporary metaphor of things being only skin deep and the surface is what matters. It also portrays the transition from manufacturing to services as it now houses a Tesco superstore. I can also see its green night-time lighting hue (acidly designed by Imagination) from my bedroom window!”

The Hoover Building

Jeremy Myerson

Design writer, editor and academic

Jeremy Myerson graduated from Hull University and the Royal College of Art before working for The Stage newspaper and becoming founding editor of Design Week. He’s the RCA’s Professor of Design Studies and co-director of the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre at the college. Recognised as an expert in design in business and society, he’s also a frequent broadcaster, an exhibition curator and author of several books, including The Creative Office and Making the Lowry.