Seoul’s ceramic-clad metropolitan subway
The Metropolitan Subway in Seoul, South Korea, is one of the most heavily used urban transport systems in the world, registering more than 8 million trips daily on the system’s fourteen lines (corresponding to an average of 3,000 trips for each of the city’s 10 million inhabitants).
Seoul’s metro system currently consists of 14 operational lines and 436 stations, including the Korail and commuter traffic lines. The metropolitan subway has a total length of 314 km, or 755 km including the wide-area rail lines.
The system serves Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi-do, northern Chungcheongnam-do and western Gangwon-do. Over 70% of the total track length is underground.
The first metropolitan line was opened on 15 August 1974, when the number of daily passengers totalled 230,000.
Lines 2, 3, and 4 followed in the 1970s and 1980s. SMRT was formed in 1994 to take over operation of lines 5 to 8. Seoul Metro Line 9 Corporation (a joint venture between Veolia Transport and Rotem) was formed in 2009 to operate line 9. Construction of other lines is due to be completed by the end of 2011.
For the two new stations Digital Media City and Hongik University, located on the line between Incheon International Airport and Seoul Station, ceramic tiles from Mirage’s Limestone collection have been used for the restroom areas and transit zones.
With their high quality, innovative design and advanced technology, Mirage ceramic tiles deliver both formal and structural solutions for public spaces, assuring a sufficiently high standard to cope with the intense levels of traffic.
For these two new Seoul metropolitan stations, tiles were chosen from the Limestone series in colours Lime white and Lime grey, from the Workshop series in colour Silver and from Stones 2.0 in the colour Basaltina Nera.
This material guarantees the best combination of aesthetics and functionality, ideal for the public and urban nature of this metropolitan subway.
The colour range features natural tones enhanced by a soft graphic design.
The colour palette was selected with care and rigour with a preference for stylistic uniformity rather than emphasis. Measured variations in colour from white to black alternate with varieties of grey contrasting with metallic effects.
The result is a clean and essential surface covering design, further complemented by the large 60×120 cm rectangular format and rigorous details.
The artificial lighting design based on non-invasive fixtures is complemented by the surface of the ceramic material so as to enhance users‘ perception of safety through the provision of clear and rational routes.