Variant Studio, an architecture firm based in Riga, Latvia and London, proposed a metro station that would use porous ceramic to absorb noise and to guide people to their train. Unfortunately, according to ArchDaily, the idea was a finalist among designs for a Moscow train station, but it was not selected.
The idea is worth exploring, though; anything that cuts train noise down by 40 decibels would be. From the designers:
“In the subway tunnels and its premises the underground trains and a constant passenger flow create a lot of noise and a strong echo. The conceptual idea of the architectural design for Novoperedelkino station in Moscow is to cover the walls and ceilings with acoustic and sound absorbing elements, therefore reducing the possibility of the sound waves to bounce off the walls and ceilings and creating echo. The three dimensional pyramid and prism panels would be created from lightweight and porous ceramic, that would be sound absorbing and fire safe. The finishing of the station would not only absorb noise, but it would be also used as an element for passenger navigation. The walls, floor and ceiling would form a pattern that would point the way to the platform, nearest exits and indicate from which side the train is approaching, therefore helping the passengers to navigate easier in the subway station. Walls and ceilings are created in neutral ‘ocher’ tone, but functionally significant elements that require attention are highlighted in more bright blue ‘indigo’.”
Cleaning sounds like it would have been a little unorthodox, even though Variant called it “simple.” They proposed a cleaning method used in washing cars. Specialized brushes would scrub the ceramic walls at night.
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