The Wehrhahn Line is the largest and most sophisticated recent urban development project in Düsseldorf, reaching its successful conclusion this weekend after 15 years of construction and planning. One highlight of the route is the design of the new U-Bahn tunnel and the six U-Bahn stations. Architecture and art strikingly come together, characterizing impressions of the spaces. The artists also contributed to the remarkable decisions as equal partners from the beginning of planning and have not permitted any advertising spaces in the new stations. The project was implemented by the office of netzwerkarchitekten from Darmstadt together with artist Heike Klussmann, who together in 2001 won the EU-wide architecture competition for all six stations against major international competition. Together they developed the overall concept of a U-Bahn tunnel as an “underground continuum,” similar to a giant snake as it slips through the earth, widening at the respective stations before continuing on its path. In contrast to the colored spaces of public space, it features a light relief-like grid structure. The smallest graphic unit of the design is a rhombus generated by the structural joints and constantly varied, resulting in a spatial drawing. The structure of Continuum systematically shrinks or expands resulting in a dynamic spatial effect.
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