Urban Fold

Will L.A.'s "Less is More" Approach to Station Design be a Bore?

After 25 years of scattershot station design, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is bringing rationality and consistency to the design of three new rail projects. A "kit of parts" has been designed by Johnson Fain.

"[L.A.]'s 80 train stops play host to more than one thousand design variations, from architectural differences to a range of trash cans and paint colors," observes Laura J. Nelson. But in an effort to improve wayfinding, simplify maintenance and "make the system feel more sophisticated and durable," Metro has adopted a design template for three new projects: the Crenshaw Line, the Downtown Regional Connector subway and the first phase of the Purple Line extension.

"The template, which staffers call 'a kit of parts,' calls for simple, even utilitarian, elements that can be rearranged to fit underground, ground-level and elevated stations," explains Nelson. "The designs are intended to help passengers find their way through the system. Every station object, from televisions to turnstiles, will have a uniform look. Like elements will be grouped together."

Full Story: Metro rail stations are being planned with design in mind

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