Super Mario and the Cheshire Cat are among the characters featured in these renderings produced by Austrian studio Madame Mohr as part of a competition proposal for a new subway line in Vienna (+ slideshow).
Vienna’s U5 subway line began construction in August 2014. The city’s public transport authority launched a competition calling for design proposals for the above- and below-ground elements of its stations in October last year.
The 10-kilometre-long line will connect the city’s Karlplatz central square with the town hall and Arne-Carlsson-Park and is scheduled for completion in 2023.
Madame Mohr‘s proposal for the stations aimed to provide a counterpoint to the sterile, modular, industrial spaces often developed for transportation infrastructure, and instead offers a “human-centred, warm and friendly design”.
Renderings made by the team to demonstrate their proposals are embellished by famous characters from popular films – including Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, Star Wars by George Lucas and Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou – as well as Mario of the Super Mario game franchise.
“While working on the project we realised that certain psychological and poetic aspects in the renderings could be revealed or intensified for the viewers if they would be linked to well-known stories,” architect Quirin Krumbholz told Dezeen.
A robot from director Fritz Lang’s science-fiction film Metropolis is seen descending an escalator, while Mia Wallace and Vince Vega from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction dance at a spot in a corridor that could one day be occupied by street performers.
“The idea of an entrance to another world that sits right below us is revealed with Alice and the Cheshire Cat [from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland],” said Krumbholz.
“The strong linearity of subway platforms with holes in the end where the trains disappear, just as bowling balls do when they vanish in their lane, opened the stage for the character of Jesus from The Big Lebowski.”
“Virtual reality, artificial characters and avatars that will fill our streets in the future were the basis for [Nintendo video game character] Mario jumping up and down urban stairs and elements,” Krumbholz added.
A scene from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is referenced in an image of Danny Torrance wheeling his tricycle down an otherwise empty platform.
Madame Mohr’s concept reached the second round of the Europe-wide competition, which attracted 32 applications from eight countries.
The concept includes integrated ceiling lighting on the platforms that is angled to indicate the direction of the trains’ travel, along with glossy floor tiles that reflect the movement of passengers around the station.
Suspended information displays would help to increase the visibility of train times and destinations, while continuous bands of signage would improve wayfinding by guiding passengers through the station.
The letter ‘U’ would be illuminated and raised high above the entrances to each station to act as a beacon within the city. A lighting concept for the platform areas includes skylights or artificial replacements in deeper stations, featuring LED lighting that would replicate the atmosphere above ground.
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