update Copenhagen metro

There have been rather a lot of posts here about the new metro line - the new Cityringen in Copenhagen - that will open this summer but that is not because I'm some sort of train buff.

What does interest me is the design aspects of the new metro - so how much the design of the new stations differs from the existing stations and how graphics and signs will have changed and that also relates closely to the impact that the new stations will have on broader planning issues for the city … so specifically how new stations and new patterns of travel will effect the street scape.

The work by COBE at Nørreport station was seminal. There a busy interchange where the existing metro line goes under a major station for suburban trains, that itself is underground, created what is the busiest transport hub in the country. The street above, with heavy bus and car and pedestrian traffic, crossed by well-used bike routes, created a difficult and in fact an unpleasant urban space. The crunch point came with extensive improvements to streets and a large square with popular food halls a block north of the station that pull even more people to the area.

A complete rearrangement of the street and paving above the rail station and metro station, completed in 2015, started with a detailed assessment of how people moved across, along and under the space.

In much the same way, the new Cityringen has meant the complete reorganisation of the street level for major interchanges at Rådhuspladsen - the square with the city hall - as well as in the centre of Frederiksberg; at the suburban rail stations of Nørrebro and Østerport and at Kongens Nytorv which will surely become the main hub for tourists and visitors and for cultural events.

The new line includes key stations for people going to the parliament buildings from Gammel Strand and to the important tourist area around Marmorkirken - the Marble Church - and Fælledparken the main public open space and the national football stadium from the new station at Trianglen and the park and the palace and gardens in Frederiksberg from the station at Frederiksberg Allé. Finally, but probably not least, new metro stations at Skjolds Plads, Nuuks Plads and Enghave Plads will make apartments in those areas even more of an attraction for young families wanting to live in the city but not able to afford prices in the centre.

Cobbles are going back down and trees are being planted and the metro stations themselves are as subtle as possible - marked by low walls around steps down and with discrete clear-glass structures to throw light down onto platforms below - so all designed to drop back into the streetscape but the new line will have a profound impact on the way people use and move through the streets and squares around each station.

Kongens Nytorv … steps down to the metro on the west side of the square, close to the east end of the walking street. Most of the boarding is down and it looks as if the cobbles or setts are about to be relaid. The theatre and firther round Nyhavn are to the left and the department store Magasin is further down the block on the right


Gammel Strand is now mostly clear of boarding and the rebuilt wall of the quay has been uncovered and the glass tower of the lift down to the metro platforms is in place,

Gammel Strand 12 years ago … the antique market will not return as too much of the long triangular space here has been taken over by the steps and the light wells of the station and one down side for spaces like this is that inevitably they have to have large areas given over to bikes left at street level.