Gems beneath your feet
With six new underground stations, the “Wehrhahn” line, which was inaugurated last year, has really helped to relieve the pressure on Dusseldorf’s local transportation system. Given the specific conditions involved in underground rail networks, the ceiling systems have to be particularly tough: the elements have to be able to withstand wind and suction loads as well as moisture. And needless to say all the statutory fire protection guidelines must be fulfilled, too. Netzwerkarchitekten therefore opted for Lindner’s tried-and-tested ceiling systems, which were put to use here with a special hook-on suspension: alongside powder-coated expanded metal ceilings, they also used stainless steel ceilings and perforated metal ceilings on the different platform and concourse levels around the underground stations as well as powder-coated metal ceilings combined with glass elements in the elevator areas.
While the functional requirements were clearly defined for the project, the artists who contributed to the interiors were given almost free rein. The prominent diamond-shaped wall reliefs in the track area are the only uniform elements. For all other aspects, the specification requested the creation of open perspectives, bright spaces and links to the urban space above. Together with artist Heike Klussmann and architect and lighting designer Uwe Belzner, Netzwerkarchitekten therefore launched a competition to select five artists who would be commissioned with designing the entrance areas of the underground stations: Enne Haehnle for the “Kirchplatz” station, Manuel Franke for “Graf-Adolf-Platz”, Thomas Stricker for “Benrather Straße”, Ralf Brög for “Heinrich-Heine-Allee” and Ursula Damm for “Schadowstraße”. The result is a range of exciting spatial geometries and guided visual effects, which makes each one of the stations truly unique. Additionally, with generous layouts, a distinct lack of advertising and smart redirection of daylight into the entrance areas, the overall subjects “safety” and ”deceleration” were incorporated creatively. (am)