Orange barcode and turquoise leaves – the architectural concept of Nyugati pályaudvar and Arany János utca metro stations

Nyugati pályaudvar and Arany János utca metro stations were opened in December 1981, so they were renewed after 42 years of the reconstruction inside and out. The change, which is also noticeable to the passengers, is the modern appearance of the passenger areas. To help decipher the new look, the architects were on hand to show how the station interiors were redesigned.

The Nyugati pályaudvar is one of the busiest stations on metro line M3, linking it to the national rail network and one of the world's busiest tramway pairs, the "four-six". The station's special feature is that it has unusually large spaces, rather than the low ceilings of the blue metro line. The distinctive red and blue colours that characterised the original architectural design return in softer shades of orange, white and blue. The true face of the metro becomes visible. With the removal of the cladding, the "natural beauty" of the incline shaft is revealed, showing the difficult and complex construction technology of the station. The slatted suspended ceiling resembles a barcode, a reference to the nearby shopping areas. The designers themselves, among others, reveal details about the unique shape and colouring of the columns (in Hungarian).

Architects Attila Czigléczki and Ádám Hatvani

Arany János utca metro station is located in an elegant urban setting, close to St Stephen's Basilica, on the recently refurbished Podmaniczky tér. The station has a separate surface building, so passengers do not have to go through an underpass to reach the platform level. Before the reconstruction, it was one of the less characterful stations, with limestone wall cladding, orange plastic benches and yellow-green door panels. Now, a clean, elegant exterior in light and dark bluish grey and turquoise shades characterises the renewed look. The sunlight filtering through the glass-foil surface of the building creates a bright, welcoming environment. The low ceilings of the platform level are an attempt to expand the space with a structure reminiscent of Japanese pagodas. The location adds a more sensitive artistic layer to the architecture, but how it does so is revealed through the interpretation of the designers (in Hungarian).

Architects Balázs Csapó and Tibor Germán

Videos by Júlia Vincze