Bright Design Concrete Creates an Appealing Ambience in Subway Stations
29 September 2019

Bright Design Concrete Creates an Appealing Ambience in Subway Stations

Dyckerhoff WEISS for facades and floors of the new Karlsruhe Metro

In the absence of daylight, subway stations quickly become dark and sinister places. The planners of the new Karlsruhe Metro counteract this effect by choosing suitable materials: facades and floors are executed in light architectural concrete based on Dyckerhoff WEISS.

Both the facades and the platforms in all seven newly built stations will be equipped with large-format cast stone slabs manufactured by Schwab-Stein from Horb.

The panels for the facades were made on the basis of Dyckerhoff FLOWSTONE white. As aggregate quartz 2/8 mm was used, in addition white limestone granules as filler and the white pigment titanium dioxide. The basis for the production of floor slabs and platform edges was Dyckerhoff WEISS, otherwise the recipe was almost identical to that for the wall slabs.

In order to avoid noticeable pass plates, the plate dimensions for each of the stations were set individually. Most of the plates are about 100 cm wide and 50 cm high. In addition, there is a large number of individual dimension plates. All transverse joints run in a line down the wall, over the platform on the ground, virtually over the tracks, and then up the second platform and the other wall.

The panels for the walls were sanded 120 times, those for the floor were given a 60 mm sanding because of the required SRT value > 55. The goal is a matte finish.

For the flooring in the intermediate levels of five of the seven stations, the choice fell on Dyckerhoff TERRAPLAN. This timelessly elegant concrete floor system is manufactured on the basis of Dyckerhoff WEISS in the ready-mixed concrete plant and delivered to the construction site in a truck mixer. For the appearance of a TERRAPLAN floor, the individually selectable aggregate is very important, in Karlsruhe, the planners decided for Rheinkies. The work is carried out by the company R. Bayer Betonsteinwerk in Blaubeuren.

The design concept for all stations comes from the Munich office of Allmann Sattler Wappner Architekten, who have teamed up with Ingo Maurer Lichtdesign. Already in 2004, the team won the competition. The design concept also includes the artistic design of the stations. For this purpose, the internationally renowned painter, graphic artist and sculptor Markus Lüpertz was hired. The seven stations of the subway are to be transformed into a total work of art with a total of 14 works of art made of clay.

The Karlsruhe subway is already the second underground railway whose stations are equipped with facades made of cast stone. In Düsseldorf, the Wehrhahn line was opened in 2016. Here, all six stations were designed with a total of 6,700 facade panels made of Dyckerhoff FLOWSTONE. The office netzwerkarchitekten from Darmstadt was responsible for the planning. Again, a sophisticated design concept was realized, each of the stations was designed by another artist.

The builder of the Karlsruhe subway is the city of Karlsruhe. The opening is planned for 2021.

Photos: Dyckerhoff / Christoph Mertens