UPDATE 04-07-11: The station opened on April 3, 2011. Blair Kamin explains why it doesn’t look as good as originally designed:
It didn’t have to be this way. The Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill came up with a promising design for the station, one that justified the demolition of a Mies-designed brick hut that reportedly served as the entrance to an underground testing facility for explosives during the Cold War.
But then, things went seriously off the rails.
This new Metra commuter/regional rail station at 35th Street and Wentworth/Federal won’t win any design awards. Neither will theÂ Lovana S. â€œLouâ€ Jones/Bronzeville Station stand out for having such a generic design.
The station under construction as of October 3, 2010.
Artist’s renderings of the station and street-level plaza, looking northwest. Left photo fromÂ Metra’s website and right photo fromÂ Singh & Associates’s website.
The amount of visible concrete used in the stairs and ramps construction (one complete set on either side of the tracks) is fitting if you consider the station’s surroundings: a 12-lane highway (the Dan Ryan, I90/94), thousands of surface auto parking spaces to the west (for the White Sox stadium), and an empty lot.
But what if we looked for design inspiration from the east?
Imagine a station shelter modeled after the sound mitigation “tube” over the Illinois Institute of Technology McCormick-Tribune Campus Center a few blocks away at State Street designed by Rem Koolhaas.
Photos above taken by Steven Crane.
Throw in some curves like the Canary Wharf stations on the Jubilee and Docklands Light Railway lines.
Photo of the Canary Wharf Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station by stephenk1977.
Photo of the Canary Wharf Jubilee Underground Line station by Payton Chung.
- Infrastructure Engineering Incorporation (IEI) – Responsible for majority of station engineering.
- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) – Station and urban design.
- Singh & Associates – Lighting and warmer power.