Published: Friday, September 01, 2006
View of the tracks in the underground metro station
While glass mosaic is extensively used to clad surfaces, unclad columns are strategically lit to add to their aesthetic appeal
The project involved the refurbishment of Hanover's most important station- the Kropcke metro station, inaugurated for the Hanover Expo 2000 with ten metro lines converging here. The design brief required that the project be interpreted from two standpoints: an aesthetic as well as a technical one. This made it possible to implement complex designs by bringing in comprehensive expertise. The design was largely driven by the dynamism innate to the station- physical motion united with high-speed transfer of information.
View of the 'Yellow City'- a sketch by the architect reproduced in glass mosaic.
To perk up the image and identity of the structure, all the visible elements were redesigned: illuminated advertising, seating, display cases, display windows, lighting fixtures, columns, steel mirrors, and signs on the platforms Further, new functions, eateries, vending areas and lockers were added. Three large city sketches by Massimo Iosa Ghini, reproduced in mosaic, brightened the station walls. Mosaic was ideal as a light non-invasive finishing material as it could be adapted to the most complex forms, dramatically changing the atmosphere of the place without disrespecting its historical spirit. The mosaic in glass opal was mounted as a "new skin" that adhered to the existing structure without overwhelming it.
Transit areas observe both - aesthetic as well as strict technical guidelines laid out by the design brief.
From a technical standpoint, the objective of the design was to augment the use of available space by developing an overall format that could potentially be applied to the entire underground rail network. The system of objects was designed so that it could be standardized and used at other stations as well. Greater attention was also paid to comfort and the noise level at the platforms was reduced by insulating the false ceilings.
Moreover, high-grip flooring and ergonomic seating were installed and the area was made visually more relaxing by applying pale, soothing colors. New elements, whose forms were in sync with the overall ambiance, were created as safety features to ensure a better line of vision. The station features a lighting system that essentially operates by refraction on the ceiling and direct lighting on the flooring. When trains arrive for instance, the lights over the platform get brighter to make the signs more visible.
Architecture-Page is an online design resource, featuring architecture and product design from the world over. More
Architecture-Page is brought to you by Page Productions