London Underground reveals station design of the future

4 December 2015  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

London Underground has revealed a design vision for future tube stations building upon the network’s heritage, providing customers with comfortable and straightforward journeys.

London Underground reveals station design of the future

The London Underground Station Design Idiom has been developed in partnership with Studio Egret West providing Londoners with an insight into the look and feel of future Tube stations.

The vision outlined in the Idiom covers every aspect of station architecture and ambience from pavement to platform. The Idiom provides a set of nine design principles that will be applied to every style of station and project, from small-scale repairs to major refurbishments and new stations. The vision will enable stations to retain their sense of individuality and local character while forming part of a cohesive network.

The Idiom provides a set of nine station design principles for London Underground

The nine design principles established in the Idiom include:

  1. Achieve Balance Across the Network
  2. Look Beyond the Bostwick Gates
  3. Consider Wholeness
  4. Prioritise Comfort for Staff and Customers
  5. Delight and Surprise
  6. Use Materials to Create Atmospheric Spaces
  7. Create Ambience with Lighting
  8. Integrate Products and Services
  9. Prepare for the Future

According to London Underground the established design principles will conserve and create stations that:

  • Provide simple, clean and uncluttered spaces for the benefit of customers
  • Represent London’s rich heritage and contemporary culture
  • Act as a focal point of the local community
  • Showcase London’s distinctive architecture

The vision provides a new approach to station design creating a functional and inspiring environment for customers. This includes a new approach to lighting, which moves away from overly lit, harsh spaces to more warm environments that use light to highlight key areas for customers such as essential information and ticket machines.


Gareth Powell, London Underground’s Director of Strategy & Service Development, said: “Our stations are important public spaces; for our customers to enjoy, our staff to work in and as a defining part of what makes London great. This Design Idiom is about ensuring we put great design at the heart of what we do for now and the future.”

Daniel Moylan, Chairman of the Mayor’s Design Advisory Group, said: “The Advisory Group welcomes the Idiom and its considered approach to the future look and feel of London Underground’s station estate. Of particular note is the focus on ensuring that customer environments are both functional and inspirational, celebrating heritage features where they currently exist and integrating world leading works of art where appropriate. The Idiom represents a great step forward in station design, and the Group looks forward to seeing it rolled out across the network over the coming years.”

London Underground reveals station design of the future

Application of materials to an already existing St James’s Park station

David West from Studio Egret West, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the London Underground Station Design Idiom project at such a pivotal point in the network’s evolution and to receive recognition for it already. Not since the days of Frank Pick has there been such an opportunity to holistically rethink the network’s design approach. Nine key principles shape the Design Idiom starting with Balance, where the iconic roundel is used to demonstrate the crucial balance between network consistency and local specificity.”

The Idiom launch is part of ‘Transported by Design’, a series of events and exhibitions that explore good design on the transport network. The programme, led by Transport for London (TfL) and the London Transport Museum, includes an exhibition (by appointment only) of the Idiom which is currently on at Platform behind Southwark Underground station.

The London Underground Station Design Idiom can be viewed here.

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