Copenhagen’s new 16km Cityringen metro line – the city’s largest infrastructure project in 400 years – opened to the public on 27 September.
The new metro line was reportedly built to encourage residents to use a more environmentally friendly mass transit network instead of taking road transport.
With more than 16km of twin-bore tunnels and 17 new stations, the design of the metro line began in 2007 and was led by architecture firm Arup in collaboration with Cowi, Systra and Copenhagen’s metro authority Metroselskabet.
Leading the architectural work, Arup designed the stations as a ‘modular system’ that creates seamless journeys from street to platform and facilitates easier navigation for passengers of all ages.
Taking inspiration from the Scandinavian tradition, each station has a unique identity where the colours and materials used echo the character of the respective areas and local communities. In Marmorkirken, for example, the lines fossil-embedded, sand-coloured Swedish-inspired limestone resonate with the adjoining Marble Church from the 16th century.
The stations feature origami-like ceilings which act as reflectors for artificial light, boosting natural light and helping to prevent glare. In addition to a landscaped plaza and a forecourt for passengers, the stations also include clean lines of sight through the platform on entry and exit, helping to guide passengers with minimal signage.
Commenting on the importance of design in the project, global leader of architecture at Arup, Nille Juul-Sørensen said: “Good architecture is functional, simple, and elegant – but great architecture can create an emotional connection between people and a place. Although the stations are built as part of a modular system, we have designed all 17 of them to reflect the architecture of the surrounding areas.”
Juul-Sørensen added that the design was made with the aim so that it becomes that part of the infrastructure which “the people of Copenhagen can be proud of.”
The Cityringen line also overlaps with five existing railways and metro stations, as well as overhead heritage structures like Slotholmens Canal and Graverboligen at Assistens Kirkegård, making it much more accessible and well connected.
Alongside leveraging the design expertise of Arup for the technical aspect and outward look of the stations, the Cityringen metro capitalised on technology during its construction to make its operations smoother.
Onsite staff used traceability software to access work documents via a smartphone app, allowing them to send reports and pictures of sites to subcontractors, with all the information for a task linked via a smart tag system.