The primary function of a underground station is that of allowing passengers to rapidly make the transition from one train to another. However, some city’s have decided to convert them into authentic exhibition spaces or art galleries which showcase the pride of their country’s culture or history thus, combining their practical function with something of beauty. As a result, underground stations of unrivalled architectural wealth and artistic worth have emerged. Here are 5 of the world’s most luxurious underground stations. Enjoy!
Komsomolskaya Underground Station in Moscow
My first choice resembles a museum or palace more than an underground station. Komsomolskaya underground station is located on the Koltsevaya Line of the Moscow Metro. It features large marble columns topped with pilasters, a Baroque-style vaulted ceiling and beautiful chandeliers.
Finally, there are eight large ceiling mosaics decorated with smalt and precious stones. They represent Russia’s many battles for freedom and independence throughout history and were inspired by Stalin’s speech in 1941 at the Red Army Parade on the Red Square in Moscow.
BurJuman Underground Station in Dubai
Each station in the Dubai underground is based on one of the four elements; wind, earth, fire and water thus lending them a beautiful, unique and futuristic appearance. However, the highlight is, without a doubt, the Burjuman underground station or Khalid Bin al Waleed, easily one of the world’s most beautiful and luxurious. Nothing less could be expected of Dubai, home to the sole 7-star hotel in the world, the Burj Al Arab. It features three floors and famously boasts incredible fiber optic chandeliers, resembling jellyfish, which emit blue light thus giving the impression of being under the sea.
The station design comprises a tribute to the region’s marine life and popular local tradition of diving for pearls.
T-Centralen Underground Station in Stockholm
More commonly known as Tunnelbana (Swedish for subway or underground), the Stockholm underground is considered the world’s largest art gallery. Nearly all of the stations resemble an art gallery or museum featuring artwork from periods throughout Swedish history. In fact, more than 140 artists are represented in 90 of Stockholm’s underground stations, including both permanent and temporary exhibitions. However, the highlight comprises the T-Centralen underground station which is the core of the Stockholm underground as it is the only station in which all three lines meet.
Featuring the typical blue and white artwork, it also boasts a unique cavernous ceiling, rustic arches, and columns decorated with mosaics.
Formosa Boulevard Station in Kaohsiung
Formosa Boulevard Station is located in the city of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. It connects the Red line and Orange line, thus comprising one of the city’s busiest stations. However, it is also very beautiful as it is home to the “Dome of Light”. Dubbed the world’s largest public art installation, it comprises a 30-metre wide dome extending over 660 square metres made from individual pieces of coloured glass shipped all the way from Germany. This beautiful work of art relates the story of human life in four chronologically arranged themes including Water: the Womb of Life, Earth: Prosperity and Growth, Light: The Creative Spirit, and Fire: Destruction and Rebirth. It was designed by artist Narcissus Quagliata and took more than 4 years to complete with the overall message, one of love and tolerance.
Underground Station in Riyadh
Finally, the Riyadh underground station in Saudi Arabia has yet to be built however, not only will it feature amongst the most beautiful but also the most expensive. The Saudi Arabia capital has been instructed by King Abdullah to build its new six-line subway in just 4 years, and that’s not all. The biggest station, comprising a three-way interchange in the city’s financial district, will boast an architectural masterpiece with an interior sufficient to compete with that of a 5-star hotel. The design will recall that of wind-blow sand dunes and consist of an air hub that lets in light whilst shading passengers from the harsh desert sun. Marble walkways and gold-plated walls in the spacious station will also feature along with, of course, air conditioning.
Not bad to look while you’re on your way to work!
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