10 Eye-Catching Metro Stations Worth a Stop
Between running for the train and dealing with delays, a metro station is probably the last place to make you stop and have a look around. But across the globe, deep under the ground of some of the world’s largest cities, there are art installations, idiosyncratic designs, and thought provoking motifs. Ahead, 10 of the most design-savvy examples around the world.
Stepping into this Stockholm station is like stepping into a very elaborate cave. The only place where all three of Stockholm’s metro lines meet, T-Centralen is the city’s most frequently used station. It was opened in 1957 and built, like many of the system’s other stations, to be cavernous. Artist Per Olaf Ultvelt added the blue vine and flower motifs in 1975 to create a mood of tranquility.
Toledo Station, Naples
Not quite the beach, but close. The walls of Toledo Station in Naples bear motifs inspired by light reflecting off of water. Part of the city’s Stazioni dell’Arte (stations with an emphasis on functionality and beauty), the stop is as calm as a metro stop can be. Blue Bisazza mosaics give way to a 125-foot wormhole that looks up to above.
Drassanes Station, Barcelona
This station is made from the trains that run through it. Barcelona’s Drassanes Station is so close to the sea that it only has one level. Futuristic white walls, bold red tiles, and a deep black ceiling make for an otherworldly experience.
Náměstí Míru Station, Prague
One of Europe’s deepest metro station means some of Europe’s longest escalators—but it’s the colorful, dimpled walls that should get attention in Prague’s Náměstí Míru Station. As with the rest of the stations that form Line A, the design looks a lot like the inside of a giant tunnel of plastic building blocks.
Olaias Station, Lisbon
It’s no secret that Portugal is a country of tiles (the distinctive azulejo tiles adorn churches and bars alike), but Lisbon’s Olaias Station is set apart. Colorful tiling and bright stained glass are juxtaposed with metallic columns for a lively effect. Architect Tomás Taveira modeled the space and art installations were created by group of Portuguese artists.
Jiantan Station, Taipei
This metro station is modeled after a boat. Taipei’s Jiantan Station rises up to the sky, like the nearby mountains. Meant to appear like a dragon boat, the station is elevated and on an island platform. It sees most of its riders at night, thanks to the nearby Shilin Night Market.
Fulton Street Station, New York City
After $1.4 billion dollars, Fulton Center reopened in the fall of 2014. Nine of the city’s lines meet here in one place for the first time. The downtown stop’s main building is spacious and airy, with an oculus known as the Sky Reflector Net. Commissioned by the MTA Arts & Design program, the oculus contains hundreds of aluminum mirrors and is the only such instance of intentionally drawing light into a city subway station.
Westfriedhof Station, Munich
Along the U1 Line of the Munich U-Bahn is a stop that cool and collected. Although opened in 1998, it wasn’t until 2001 that the station lit up anew. Eleven large, domelike lamps were installed—each shedding light of a different color, from yellow to red and blue.
Iadibashi Station, Tokyo
One of Tokyo’s most important transit meeting places, Iadibashi Station sees many footsteps a day. The entrance’s striking oval structures (which look oddly similar to insect eyes) are underground venting towers. Once inside, the station is pure lime green. Frond-like sculptures adorn the ceiling and verdant light illuminates the platforms.
Szent Gellért Station, Budapest
Named for the patron saint of Budapest, the eponymous metro stop was destined for special treatment once it opened in March 2014. Artist Tomás Komoróczry was brought in to design the mosaics covering the ceiling to the floor. The tiny tiles, some a burst of red and yellow, allow for a moment of pause.