Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Jubilee Line Extension

The Jubilee Line Extension (JLE) in London is the greatest example to learn from. Each stations of the line are custom designed by architects. It would be interesting to understand the arguments behind that decision and to see in what extend DC Metro can learn from it.

Following are quotes from the Roland Paoletti's Foreword to the book "The Jubilee Line Extension". Roland is the Architect-in-Charge of the overall JLE project, who was also a transport architect in Hong Kong.

The Jubilee Line has a maintenance depot, a control center and eleven stations.... Nine of the eleven are interchanges, making this the only line on the Underground to connect to all existing lines. Four of the stations have large new bus stations attached.

The route and stations of the extension effectively link Victorian construction with the modern stations have been built to advanced architectural concepts...based on the latest technology.

In short, the proposal was that each of the eleven stations of the extension should be designed as an individual entity, but linked to the others by an underlying philosophy and essential elements. Each should be unique and should contribute strongly to its neighborhood while at the same time representing recognizably the best of London Underground.

They are a great expression of confidence in the future. Our stations are big enough to accommodate the needs of Londoners for the next 100 years. In all this innovation, there is also a profound continuity. The Extension shows that the Underground can power the re-shaping and revitalization of our great city like no other force.

The most popular millennium sight of all has turned out to be ... Canary Wharf tube station (not the Ferris Wheel). It has really caught the public imagination. And everybody can afford the tickets. This is the true people's building.

The Canary Wharf Station, London, by Norman Foster

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