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Subway Kiosk Lighting Strategy

Cincinnati, Ohio

The final project of this lighting course involved the development of a lighting strategy for a prior academic project, in this case a typical subway kiosk for the Metro Cincinnati project.

The entry kiosk to a typical subway station is envisioned as a glassy pavilion with a sloping frit-glass roof supported by an exposed stainless steel structural frame. This roof shelters the escalators that provide access to the subway station below. In some cases, the stations may be as deep as 150 feet below street level. As such, the long escalator banks serve as important transitional spaces as patrons move between the street level and the underground stations. The entry pavilion, in addition to providing shelter from the elements, must also serve as a landmark structure within the neighborhood that forms the public gateway to the subway station below.

The lighting scheme makes extensive use of indirect cove lighting. In the kiosk, uplights illuminate the stainless steel structure and turn the roof plane into a glowing element that serves as a dramatic entryway. Within the escalator banks, the curved granite walls are washed from above and below. With the material palette consisting primarily of gray and silver surfaces, it is envisioned that the lighting be of a somewhat warmer color temperature in order to soften what might otherwise be a harsh, institutional space.

Movement forms a crucial element in the experience of entering the subway station. Throughout the daylight hours, the sun will shine through the frit-glass canopy of the entry kiosk, and the structural frame will cast shadows on the ground that will change according to the time of day and the season of the year. Entering passengers will pass through the kiosk before descending on a long escalator into the subway station ñ in the daytime, gradually transitioning from a space thatís primarily daylit into an underground space thatís entirely lit by artificial means. For passengers traveling in the reverse direction as they leave the station, the brightly-lit pavilion serves as a beacon as they ascend up the long escalators.

Click on a thumbnail below for a full-size image:

  Final Presentation Board
  Site Plan
  Reflected Ceiling Plan
  Fixture Schedule


Interior Design Elective: Lighting
Fall 2011
University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning
Instructor Brian Davies