Lonely Planet Writer

TfL unveil design plans for future London Underground

Transport for London has unveiled the computer-generated plans and design parameters for  Underground stations of the future.

The Design Idiom for the future tube stations in London
The Design Idiom for the future Tube stations in London Image by Tfl

Working alongside Studio Egret West, TfL has produced graphics and mock designs of a fictional station called ‘Idiom Park’ along with what they are terming a ‘design idiom’, a nine point plan on how the future stations should be designed, including everything from lighting and signage, to smells within the station.

Co-founder David West told The Evening Standard that the project was an exciting one given the importance of the Underground as a symbol of London. He stressed how it was the first project of its kind in many years, one that would see a re-imagining of something as iconic as the Tube stations. “Not since the days of Frank Pick has there been such an opportunity to holistically rethink the network’s design approach,” West said.

In its press release TfL stressed that a lot of the stations would not see a dramatic redesign, and that historic and culturally valuable details and features would be saved and restored as heritage items.

To go with that it released its nine point design language or ‘idiom’.

  • Achieve Balance Across the Network
  • Look Beyond the Bostwick Gates
  • Consider Wholeness
  • Prioritise Comfort for Staff and Customers
  • Delight and Surprise
  • Use Materials to Create Atmospheric Spaces
  • Create Ambience with Lighting
  • Integrate Products and Services
  • Prepare for the Future

    The Design Idiom consists in a design code across all stations
    The Design Idiom consists in a design code across all stations Image by Tfl

TfL went on to stress a focus on surprise, saying “every Underground station should include at least one moment of delight and surprise, to improve customers’ journeys and the working environment for staff.” Some of the details include different scents in every station, softer lighting that also helps passengers with directions, and a mainly blue, gold, and silver colour palette.

The plans and designs will form a pop-up exhibition at Southwark Station from late January with public viewings on the second Friday and Saturday of each month in the first quarter of 2016, from 11am – 7pm.

To read more: here