January 24, 2015
by Canadian Architect
Commuters have cause to rejoice – a Toronto subway station designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects has been named among the ten most beautiful metro stations in the world by The Guardian newspaper.
The survey showcases elaborate and inventive place making in these quotidian spaces that are often overlooked in a rush-hour commute. “Underground stations are often filthy, noisy and festooned with litter and rodents,” the newspaper states. “Here are some that buck the trend.”
Museum Station was reimagined in 2008 based on artifacts from the Royal Ontario Museum and the Gardiner Museum, which are directly above the station. A sequence of archaeologically inspired columns lines the platform like so many commuters waiting for their train. These iconic symbols of Canada’s First Nations, Ancient Egypt, China’s traditional culture, Mexico’s Toltec culture and Ancient Greece also represent load-bearing artifacts from their era, lending authenticity to their role of “supporting” the train station’s ceiling.
“To be rated among the top ten most beautiful subway stations in the world is an honour for Diamond Schmitt Architects and our partners, notably the Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto Foundation and the cultural institutions that participated in creating this dynamic space to engage the public in an innovative way,” said Gary McCluskie, Principal at Diamond Schmitt Architects.
The renewal of the 45-year-old station included updated wayfinding, lighting, custom seating and a wall finish with hieroglyphic inscriptions embedded in durable metal panels to create a contemporary backdrop for the signature column display. The robust station design helps to orient subway riders by providing visual clues about activities above ground.
To view a 10-second video of Museum Station, please visit http://vimeo.com/117413082.
To view images from the list of beautiful metro stations, please visit www.theguardian.com/cities/gallery/2014/nov/11/-sp-most-beautiful-metro-stations-in-the-world.
museum station. photo by tom arban.
museum station contains totems inspired by artifacts contained in the royal ontario museum, which sits above the subway station. photo by tom arban.
seating at museum station. photo by tom arban.