Art on infrastructure may look beautiful, but it is also helping with wayfinding and guiding passengers through the Underground and railway stations.
Here are some of New Civil Engineer’s favourite recent examples.
Tottenham Court Road Station in London opened to the public last year. The newly expanded station, which will be on the new Elizabeth line, has four entrances and exits which use art to help passengers negotiate their way through the station.
Architect Hawkins Brown partner, head of infrastructure and transport Harbinder Birdi said the coloured “Diamonds and Circles” design by artist Daniel Buren gave each exit its own “distinct identity” so the choice of exit felt “natural”.
“If extensive signage is necessary to be able to orientate oneself in a transport interchange, the design has failed,” said Birdi. “Daniel created several artworks that define the various station entrances through a change in colour and composition.”
At the new Stratford station, “super graphics” were used when creating the new pedestrian underpass. Birdi said the graphics on a back drop of bright colours makes the access and egress more intuitive, especially within a subterranean space.
At East Croydon station, new lifts were clad in bright yellow, allowing passengers to see them through the existing operational and retail areas. This has improved the wayfinding through the station.
In the fourth example, in the newly refurbished Bromley By Bow station, the interior is lit via glazed lantern. Birdi said that light flooding into new ticket halls has always been a device used by architects to aid navigation, with natural light defining where to enter and exit.