Project: Yi Zhuang Subway Station

Beijing, China
Design Period:
January 2009– February 2009
Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning
crossboundaries, Beijing

The competition asked for a proposal for the interior design of the Yi Zhuang subway line that will be built in 2012 in the south-east part of Beijing. During the design process we got convinced that a specific design proposal would not solve the problems that the quickly growing subway of Beijing is facing. A subway in 2012 should be an efficient, clear, stimulating environment that supports the daily needs of today’s urban life. In order to achieve this goal we proposed a set of guidelines and principles that hopefully could create a new framework.

A subway station is not an hotel lobby.
In many subway station the range of material used comes from an imagery belonging to certain over decorated interior world. They try to communicate a certain richness in the finishes forgetting that heavy frequented public space would need different type of materials. If we consider other type of environments such as art galleries or retail spaces in renovated building we can observe that the use of durable and easy to mantain materials can also reach a very high aesthetical level.
A subway station is primarily a place of transit. The first priority is efficiency. Pushing this logic to the extreme can provide results that are both highly functional and visually striking
Bold and big.
Subway station are highly frequented space. A wide range of different people pass through them ever day. Orientation should be clear, big and bold. Maximizing and integrating it with the surrounding.
The proposal consider each element as part of a system. Integrate parts instead of accumulating.
Reduce fragmentation.
Subway interiors in Beijing in many cases lack clarity because they are a patchwork of different elements that are placed in the environment without coordination. Reducing parts in order to underline the essential.
Subway: the subway as service provider.
Subway stations are expanding the range of services that provide to the commuter. We need to think and integrate them to offer a more complete offer.
Subway as a brand.
In order to guarantee a better service subways need to be as much as possible economical indipendent and felt by the citizens as an active part in the urbanscape.
Should guide movements, provide visual comfort, focus attention and underline the space.