Home Asides An international view of subway architecture

An international view of subway architecture

by Benjamin Kabak

As underground architecture goes, the New York City subway system is hardly a paragon of greatness. Although Heins and LaFarge and later Squire Vickers spent some time designing recognizable and identifiable station mosaics, the more ornate designs, as seen at the now-shuttered City Hall stop, were shelved due to massive costs. Over the decades, New York’s subway architecture has fallen into disrepair and only recently has the MTA tried to invest more in station appearances.

Around the globe, though, other mass transit systems feature stunningly ostentatious designs as in Moscow or cutting-edge architecture as in Stockholm. Recently, Design Boom highlighted some of the more “architecturally interesting” subway stations as the site explored how station design defines the mass transit experience. If the Second Ave. Subway designs are any indication, New York’s blandly utilitarian stations won’t be featured in international subway design shows any time soon.

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Sarah December 22, 2009 - 7:31 pm

The LA subway stations are pretty amazing. Also North Korea, although I only know that from film.

herenthere December 22, 2009 - 11:25 pm

The SAS designs aren’t all too bad-they’re definitely a breath of fresh air compared to current NYC stations. Although, keep in mind that computer generated models/images always look better than what they look like in real life.

Mike December 24, 2009 - 10:53 am

Aren’t the 2nd Ave stations supposed to look like the new South Ferry station? The latter definitely looks new and modern, but its really not that interesting architecturally.


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