even more subway architecture
original content
mar 29, 2010
even more subway architecture


our previous article on subway architecture got a huge response and prompted us to begin researching
even more metro systems from all around the world. in this second instalment, we cover a few stations
that didn’t make the cut the first time, but are architecturally significant nonetheless. these stations
showcase a wide variety of design styles from contemporary above ground stations in vancouver to
steam punk style underground designs in paris.


image via flickr

washington DC

this stateside metro system is the second-largest in the country after
new york city and has a total of 86
stations. many of these stations
were designed by chicago architect harry weese who studied under
alvar
aalto. weese’s designs for the metro stations in washington epitomize
the brutalist style of
architecture, making use of large exposed
concrete forms and repetitive design elements. this is most
obvious in
the vaulted ceilings that are repeated in many of the stations. the
underground tunnel is
covered in curved concrete blocks with a central
recess in each to create a repetitive pattern.


image via flickr


image via flickr


image via flickr


image via flickr


image via flickr

montreal

although it was inspired by the paris metro, montreal’s underground
metro expanded on the past through
unique station designs and site
specific art installations. the metro system is canada’s longest
counting 68
stations on four lines. unlike other cities who appoint one
architect to design all their stations, montreal
wanted more variation
and held a competition to select a different architect for each one.
the result is a
diverse series of designs that represent numerous
architectural styles and visions. in addition to the
architecture,
montreal also focused on public art projects within the metro.
throughout the system there
are sculptures, stained glass works and
murals by quebec artists.


image via flickr


image via flickr


image via flickr


image via flickr


image via flickr

porto

the city of porto is located in the north of portugal and has a 68
stations light rail metro system that
opened in 2002. this new
transportation system was built in one undertaking consisting of 5
lines that
are mainly above ground or elevated. porto’s metro stations
were almost all designed by portuguese
architects eduardo souto de
moura and alvaro siza. the structures are quite contemporary and make
use
of glass, steel and concrete. glazed tiles are also imported into
many of the stations in a mix of muted
tones. while the design language
is carried across the whole system, each station has its own unique

design features. for example, campo 24 de agosto station incorporates a
16th century fountain found
during construction, directly into the
station design.


image via flickr


image via flickr


image via flickr



image renzo piano building workshop


genoa

the coastal italian town genoa has its own metro system, consisting of
seven stations on one line that
serve the city’s population of over
600,000. the system opened in 1990 and has been slowly extended
since
then. five of the stations on the line were designed by world renowned
architect renzo piano.
because of engineering and topographic
constraints, each station designed by piano has a unique
footprint, but
certain elements were repeated to create an overall identity.
platforms, entryways and
signage are among the repeated elements. the
architect’s design utilizes perforated curved steel beams
and glass to
create airy and light filled spaces.



image renzo piano building workshop



image renzo piano building workshop


image via flickr

paris

while the paris metro is among the world’s most well known, visiting
all 300 stations on the system’s 16
lines is a steep challenge. while
most stations are curved spaces with tiled walls, others break the
mould
with more unusual architecture, like the arts and metiers
station. serving the musee des arts et metiers
above ground, this
station was originally opened in 1904 and redesigned in 1994 by belgian
comic artist
francois schuiten. schuiten’s design uses the science
fiction works of jules verne as a starting point, using
a design
language known affectionately as steam punk. the station features
riveted walls that have
porthole windows and large gears overhead  that
recall the inner workings of a factory. the design utilizes
copper all
over giving it a warm orange glow. 


image via flickr


image via flickr



image busby perkins + will

vancouver

rather than a central metro servicing its small downtown, vancouver has
an elevated light rail network
called skytrain which has served the
city since 1985. this 47 station system connects the central core of
the city to the nearby suburban areas. its elevated platform design
differentiates it from metro systems
in other cities, as does its award
winning brentwood station design by busby perkins + will. this station

incorporates a sleek and curvilinear enclosure made from wood, metal
and glass that make it an area
landmark. the station also incorporates
a pedestrian bridge for crossing the highway below. the glass
sides and
skylight in the station protects riders from the weather and allows
light to filter into the station
during the day, while giving it an
ambient glow at night.



image busby perkins + will



image busby perkins + will


image via flickr

lisbon

lisbon’s gare do oriente is the second portuguese entry on the list,
boasting a multi-functional design by
spanish architect santiago
calatrava. more than just a metro station, gare do oriente is also a
railway
station, bus terminal and shopping center. the station opened
in 1998 and has quickly become one of the
busiest stations in the
world. the building’s design has many of calatrava’s signature elements
such as an
arched skeleton-like roof structure covered in glass and
sweeping curves such as the awnings over the
building’s main entrances.
large corridors of concrete connect the various elements of the
station, which
also feature severe curving forms.


image via flickr


image via flickr


image via flickr


image via flickr

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