Friday, September 17, 2010

Assignment 3.14 Muenchener Freiheit Ubahn Station

Throughout the last year, studying with the OCA, I have become more and more interested in the Munich underground railway system.  It provides a fascinating environment for taking photographs combining, people and movement with dramatic architecture and strange viewpoints.  One of the most interesting locations is the Muenchener Freiheit station, located in the heart of the trendy Schwabing district of Munich in which many bars and cafes are located.  When I first arrived in Munich 16 years ago, I would spend most Fridays and Saturdays hanging around this area, with bars opening pretty much all night long.  Fortunately I have better things to do these days.  The UBahn station was recently refurbished and the architecture now reflects the active life lived above ground.

What was once a very dowdy dirty environment has been transformed with mirrors and intelligent lighting into a modern temple of transport.  The most striking part of the upgrade is that all of the supporting columns have been covered in blue glazed tiles and then illuminated individually.  The effect is that the columns appear to glow and are then reflected in the mirrored ceiling.  This is simply the entrance and one of the bakery's that operate there:

Descending onto one of the main platforms, there are two lines passing through the station:

This picture clearly shows the impact of the blue glowing columns coupled with the mirrored ceiling.  Before moving onto more shots illustrating the architecture, this is first and foremost a station that provides access to and from the trains that run through:

The next shot captures the movement of the train and passengers within the confined space of a subway station

The next shot is just after a train has arrived in the station and people are running up the escalator.  It is not in fabulous crisp focus as I am also on the stairs moving backwards shooting fast moving people in a very dark station (all the photo's here were taken at ISO-800):

As the trains doors start to close people run to jump on

Having illustrated the primary use case of a station, to move people back and forth between train and surface, and hopefully sell them something in between, I now move onto a sequence of shots the delve into the architecture and the remarkable aspect of these blue glowing repeating columns:

Whilst the blue columns are the dominating feature the mirrored ceiling accentuates the effect, whilst also providing its own visual dynamic

The mirrors also create interesting images of the trains

This lone man also features in my last two images

This is a building with clear purpose and very unusual visual content, a good example for my assignment

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