An artistic and unique subway entry can give a neighborhood a distinct identity and become a cultural touchstone. Paris’ art nouveau Metro canopies are as iconic as the Eiffel Tower. Here are six metro station gateways that have reached beyond their basic function to become cultural treasures.
Art Nouveau entrance of the Metro Paris, France – Stylish subway canopies in Paris have become a landmark of the city
A jeweled crown echoing the nearby Palais Royal marks the Place Colette entry to the Paris Metro. The “Kiosk of the night-walkers” was designed in 2000 by Jean-Michel Othoniel, to represent day and night. Each of the open domes are made of aluminum with varied Murano glass beads making the square a sparkling exclamation point in the heart of the traditional 1st Arrondissement.
Palais Royal Metro Station Entrance, Paris France – A crown jewel in Place Colette made of Murano glass and fantasy.
Palais Royal Metro Station Entrance, Paris France – The gateway is an attraction that enhances the sense of place.
Was there an earthquake? A run-away train accident? No, but it is one of the most inventive subway entries, one designed to look like an old fashioned trolley car bursting through the pavement. Located at Bockheimer Warte, one of the main Frankfurt metro stations, this artful entry was designed by architect Zbiginiew Peter Pininski who was inspired by the work of surrealist painter René Magritte. It has been rightfully named one of the top ten Subway stations in the world.
Bockenheimer Warte, Frankfurt Germany – An old style trolley car bursts through the pavement, an indication of the decades of movement underground
Forward-thinking design evokes a feeling of innovation. Designed for the new Donostialdea Metro-Station entrance by the cutting edge architecture firm Snøhetta, this canopy creates a feeling of openness and modernity that sets the tone for the entire square.
Donostialdea Metro station, San Sebastian Spain – Subway gateways are useful architecture – but they can also be brilliant modern city sculptures
In the Spanish city of Bilbao, the entryways designed by Lord Norman Foster reflect the architectural exuberance of the city. When a community values the impact of both art and good design, it can only positively affect every-day riders, visitors, and ultimately the city’s economy.
Metro Gateway, Bilbao Spain – Star Architect Norman Foster worked with metro designers to create a metro entry that reflects the modernism of the city
This station entrance was designed to integrate with the city square by providing amphitheater seating for the outdoors and light filled stairways to the subway. The new Odenplan station gateway in Stockholm was designed by Swedish architects 3XN as an “entry way into the station and a light well integrated urban sculpture” 1
The broad seating area is designed to provide more of a public space creating a functional feature for the square.
Odenplan Metro, Stockholm, Sweden – The broad stairway gives back to the public space providing a focal point for the square.
1 3XN Odenplan entry http://www.3xn.com/#/architecture/by-year/31-odenplan