Paddington was built as the terminus of the Great Western Railway in 1850 – 54.
Its design was a collaboration between Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Matthew Digby Wyatt. The spectacular train shed has an iron girder roof with three-bays, these have 189 decorative wrought iron ribs and are supported by a cast-iron column every third rib.
When a fourth bay was added in 1916, in keeping with Brunel’s originals, the iron columns were replaced with steel stanchions.
Paddington is unusual in that it does not have a principal exterior facade. In its place is the Great Western Hotel, designed by P.C. Hardwick and opened in the same year as the station. Brunel is remembered by a seated statue that can be seen beside the side entrance to platform 1.
Children all over the world know the name of the station through the famous ‘Paddington Bear’ created by Michael Bond.
An ambitious £63 million overhaul has recently given Paddington Station a new lease of life. The centrepiece of this scheme is ‘The Lawn’, an up-market glass and steel area with cafés, shops and airline check-ins desks for passengers using the Heathrow Express.
The area around the station is also undergoing redevelopment and the Paddington Basin office complex is being built on former railway land to the north of the station