Design
MTS 02 - 24 - 2010

Sometimes design inspirations come from the smallest, most seemingly insignificant sources, rather than from iconic architecture. One of the sources that I have referenced most often in my studio design came from Nice, France: a set of salt and pepper shakers, embracing each other. The interesting thing about them is while normal shakers function as separate entities, these could either act individually, or be combined into one logical form. (Image 001) Together, they embrace each other, and their original purpose is disguised, and when separate, it is more obvious. For a transportation system, it might be interesting to incorporate this same idea, of simultaneously representing opposing concepts. Because rail systems usually involve crossing tracks (either over- or underground), they must also involve splitting and bridging between two sides. (And therefore represent opposing concepts) Like the salt and pepper shakers, it could be interesting to design a station that appears to be two separate components above the surface (and still correlate), yet still function seamlessly as a whole. More specifically, if the above-ground portions of the building donít meet, they could imply unity by echoing the otherís volume and design language. For example, if the overhand on one side of the platform follows a certain curve, the overhang on the opposite side might follow that same one, only slightly offset. (So that the two pieces might suggest that they were once part of the same whole.) This Ďsplití concept could also be applied to the volumes of the station, where each seems to be an inverse of the other, or at least, like two parts make up a larger whole. Additionally, the tracks and tunnels could create an optical illusion (Image 002), so that the tracks appear to twist around each other, when in reality, they are still completely straight.

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