Sofia’s new Metropolitan Station 20 on line 1 connects the nearby historic city with a modern and developing city center. It creates an underground world inspired by the cities’ culture and modern day aspirations. The design strategy by ZNA (Zeybekoglu Nayman Associates, Inc.) seeks to take advantage of the overlapping relationship between Obikolna Street and the proposed station below. The design of a centralized median, which moderates traffic, becomes the glass spine of the station. Composed of high angled walls in white architectural concrete the station is formed to capture natural light. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The sun penetrates down through sculptural skylights illuminating the entire station in a warm glow. The use of daylight as an architectural element assists orientation for passengers and provides a sense of security. It allows for the atmosphere of the station to be transformed by the color of the sky. Underground the station is efficient, easy to read and comprehend through its organized masses.
The descent down to the metro is designed as an elegant, modern addition to the street life above. Public access areas on B1 contain places to sit, shop, and dine. Open to all, this level has direct access to both sides of Obikolna Street through a new pedestrian underpass. Ticketed areas on B2 including the platforms are separated by a series of turnstiles that lead to zones of vertical transportation.
Architectural designs of metro stations can become iconic elements of the urban environment and represent the most memorable parts of a city. Great metro stations are more than just underground platforms connecting trains from one station to the next; they are spaces and structures that draw people to them, creating a scene of excitement both above and below ground. These are places where light and dark shadows and reflections hang over the meetings and departures of people. Great metro stations are desirable destinations for passengers, providing them with positive and memorable travel experiences.
This design demonstrates a spatial coherence between the two worlds above and below. Gracefully shaped glass geometries define a modern sculptural addition to the outdoor-indoor environment. During the day the outside is brought into the station and at the night the glowing illumination from within becomes part of the street scene.