Munich’s subway system has 100 kilometers of tunnel and 97 stations, more than 40 of which are due to be renovated over the next few years. In its brief, the city’s municipal utility SWM is requesting an overall design concept that applies to all upcoming renovations. Establishing uniform guidelines in the concept will ensure a consistent design approach across all the stations, but also allow the SWM to retain the characteristic elements of the original subway lines from the 1970s and 1980s.
The guiding principle of the concept is to conserve resources, and treat structures and materials with respect. We will be able to preserve unique features worth protecting, such as colorful ceramic tiles or ornamental reliefs, by relying on select, targeted interventions to transform the space into up-to-date architecture. In a matrix developed especially for SWM, we first recorded all of the specifications and then categorized each design element ranging from floors and walls to ceilings, columns and lighting. The matrix also includes a list of technical specifications and serves as a basis for the overall renovation concept, with details on the potential of each station and subway line along with the relevant interventions. In parallel, we developed a guiding theme for each subway line and made recommendations on how to approach the architectural implementation. This includes not only the platform level, but also the transition areas, the turnstile level as well as the entrance and exit structures.
The renovation concept also covers modernizing the stations in terms of fire protection, passenger safety, barrier-free access, pollutant removal and the replacement of several structural elements that are no longer viable. In order to bring the necessary technical upgrades into line with the sophisticated design requirements – and to do so while the subway is in operation – we will need to renovate the stations in stages. This will require a process-oriented, flexible and incremental approach with several self-contained interim phases.
Investor: Stadtwerke München GmbH
Consulting & Project Development:
Thomas, Katharina (Lead)
Juszczyszyn, Katarzyna (Project Leader)
Nitsche, Maurice Fabien (Project Leader)
luxophil lighting Fischer & Rohr Architekten PartG mbB, Munich (Lighting design)