01 June 2007

23 Milano Metropolitana: The Modern Classic Subway

Milan is a business city, the busiest in the 'La Dolce Vita' Italy. Somehow it is difficult to compare Milan with the charming Rome, Florence, Venice or all the rest. But Milan is a 'modern' city. For me, the most 'modern' element is the subway. Although the present condition is already in the stage that requires an urgent maintenance, the cool modern spirit still remains.

It was designed in the 60's by one of the Italian modern pioneer architects, Franco Albini. (He was the master of our beloved Renzo Piano - the young Renzo was working in Albini's office for a while.)

The very simple, but elegant system of materials, signage, colors and so on.

The color of each line (in this case, the red line) is signified by the red bans running all around the staion and the platform. These bans house all the information and directions. Very simple, but informative enough.

Look at the elegent details: the railing, the benches...

This is the Centrale Station (Milan Central Station) at the green line. Very dramatic passage leading to the open well where the sunlight and air could get through the underground space.

The green line with supplement color of super blue!

The floor material is rubber with dotted pattern, very industrial one. :O

The super modern classic font...:) we love it too.

Thinking of our recently built Bangkok Subway... it seems to be light years away from those in Milan. Such a good design of big public facility does not only happen because of good designers, but also those powerful people who acknowledge values of good design and environment. In the time that we don't event have a 'real' government yet, I don't know when we would have a 'good' public design. Let's pray.....


M_M said...

I will pray everyday :D

Anonymous said...

thanks ja mameaw. let's all pray together.... there will be the day :).

Walter Aprile said...

also interesting to compare with the newer Linea 3 of the Milan subway, that went for a horribly Eighties pseudofancy stile with stone floors and LEGO colors - and you know, of course the newer Linea 3 looks older and in worse shape than the old M1 and M2 that you have photographed...

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