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Reverberation of The Underground 
Design of The Subway Document Museum 
International Competition, Independent Work, 2015

Photo | A Glance of the Daily Space of Shanghai's Metro Station

A Role Hidden Underground 

Subway is like a daemon of city, hidden underground running the transportation invisibly.
The subway stations consist of many linear spaces and are divided into different parts by vertical layers so to separate the flows heading to different subway lines. And the movement down and up from the surface to the underground causes interruptions of human's perception of the continuity of city spaces. 

Beyond program, the project focus on responding to the aforesaid status in context, analogical and perceptible ways, and tries to translate and expose the hidden space structure of the underground and the city by studying the subway transfer station traits. Thus we create a space, as a reverberation, constricted but implies the underground daemons.


The Fragmentation of perception and Context

Subway is the most efficient transportation in cites to ease the current traffic problem, carrying the largest passenger volume.
But travelling by subway, the continuity of passengers' perception of city in motion is interrupted, because the underground environment blocks them from the terrain landscape, or the view blockers, such as tunnels and soundproof wall along the rail, cut off passengers' sight in another way when the subway runs on ground.  Our traditional continuous image of city is divided into segments and distorted from reality. 

And people nowadays focus themselves on smartphones more than the real city-scape especially when taking public transportation, thus the horizon is more limited and the fragmentation is exaggerated widely. The conventional habit that people used to enjoy the scenery back way home is lost.

So the space perception caused by subway, and the subsequent common behaviors can be treated as a representation of our city's fragmentation, not only in space, context and perception, but also in information and communication.


Manipulation | Duplicate and Reverse

Rediscover and Reinterpret the Archetype of space

This Project is focus on the special space pattern and passengers' perception in subway station and translate the linear space  type of subway transfer station to the museum's space, and constrict it into a similar vertical but smaller envelope, thus create a space analogy as a 'Constricted Reverberation' of the underground prototype.

In contrast with other transportation, such as bus, taxis, or bicycles, people's continuous image of the surrounding cities is interrupted in subway, due to the complexity of the inner construction of the subway station and the shift from ground to the under. 
Here the space perception caused by subway, and the subsequent common behaviors can be treated as a representation of our city's fragmentation.

So I designed The Subway Document Museum as a response to the city to reveal the hidden structure of the city and draw peoples' awareness of the fragmentation in Two Ways:

[1]  Imitate the vertical circulation and space pattern of subway station. But remove some walls so as to unfold the space structure of the underground.

[2]  Extract the axis of subway line nearby to direct the gallery's scope to city as a return of scape to the passengers.


Diagram |Archetype and Translation

Archetype Mimic Translation

The archetype of Guggenheim Museum can be seen as a metonymy of the spiral space pattern of vertical parking lot, which indicates us that architects can extract various space types from those inconspicuous mundane spaces and reinterpret the archetype into another form with different but relative purposes.

The attributes of typical space of metro transfer station can be concluded with these words:

[1] Linear space of fluidity
[2] Vertical leap in sections
[3] Divided flow with interrupted continuity
[4] Totally wrapped and surround by public media

The linear space of metro station is surrounded by messy commercials, and different public medias can be transformed into a linear gallery for its enclosed environment and exhibition settings.

While the end of the linear space in metro station is usually blocked, we remove it in the museum as a return of the city scope to the passengers.

As a duplication of the metro transfer station, the museum is supposed to unveil the hidden structure of the complicated space of the underground, so we diminish the number of walls to help people better obverse and understand the relation of different layers when they move.


Model |View of the Museum and the Landscape

Perspective | Rendering of the Exterior View


Analysis |The Accessibility of Subway Transfer Station  


Design|The Accessibility of Subway Document Museum

Circulation Design

In subway station we walk up and down to be divided into different flows, and the intersections are limited by path. Sometimes we move from one floor to another without cross the middle floor by escalator, as if we leap from one to another.

So when we interpret this circulation pattern into museum, we designed two touring route(like two paths to different subway line)for  people from different entrance, each directs them to  distinctive gallery.



The Subway Document Museum has four entrances which divides the visitors and the staff.
The Offices head towards a yard in the south.
The plaza in front of the main entrance  provides a public place for visitors and a buffering area for the passengers put from the exit of the subway station.

The plan is generated by  sequences of axis which ensures the museum's inner relation with the city context. And the scape along the axis seen from the museum gallery are also part of the exhibition, as a return of the lost sight in subway station underground.

P1 .jpg

Design|Site and Formation of the Plan


Sequence of Experience

Two ramp ways and a big outdoor sidestep connect the sites of different elevation. 

The open facade towards the plaza and the main street is to expose the interior space structure of the architecture so as to remind people  of the complex vertical over layered space of the underground.

Perspective|Rendering of Interior View

Sections|Shifting in Levels

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