Metro’s stainless steel future – Rosslyn

As the construction fencing starts to come down around the second entrance to Rosslyn Station, you can now see the future aesthetic for Metro infrastructure. Lots of steel and glass, but little of Metro’s original materials: concrete, tile, and brass.

Elevator-only second entrace to the Rosslyn Station. Photo by the author.

Elevator-only second entrance to the Rosslyn Station. Photo by the author.

The three elevators descend to a new mezzanine adjacent to the existing mezzanine. More renderings of the project are available at Arlington County’s website.

Cutaway of the Rosslyn Station second entrance. Image from Arlington County.

Cutaway of the Rosslyn Station second entrance. Image from Arlington County.

Above ground, the elevators emerge in a completely different structure across the street from the existing entrance. The separation between the two avoids the discord between Metro’s current embrace of stainless steel and the system’s historic colors and materials. Even though this project represents an addition to an existing station, the construction is almost entirely outside of the existing station shell. Unlike the proposed Bethesda renovation, the Rosslyn project thereby avoids the conflict between the old and new palates.

New Rosslyn Station entrance pavilion. Photo by the author.

New Rosslyn Station entrance pavilion. Photo by the author.

As the Metro system has expanded, it’s also picked up architectural variety. Even during the build-out of the original Adopted Regional System, the station architecture varies from station to station, depending on age and the construction methods. All of the ARS stations used the same palate of materials, despite the variety in design. Additions beyond the ARS (NoMa infill station and the Largo Extension) feature a different look than other above-ground stations; the Silver Line to Dulles will feature an entirely different architectural vocabulary.

3 comments to Metro’s stainless steel future – Rosslyn

  • This is quite a bit better than Metro’s own handiwork. The lighting in the underground mezzanine is tight against the vaulting, heightening the impact of the arch. It doesn’t look like an office building, like what they have at Judiciary Square. Even though it is more stainless, there’s an aesthetic unity between old and new, like at the three post-ARS stations, but absent from the small repairs in stations.

    Up top, the symmetry of the elevators is nicely offset by the asymmetry of the surrounding structure. It’s a nice way of indicating what is important and what is not while also adding to the variety of the object, which could be quite bleak.

  • Alex Block

    Neil, that Judiciary Square lighting has expanded – you can now find it in the two Red Line mezzanines at Metro Center.

    Judging from the renderings, I’d agree that the unity between old and new looks promising at Rosslyn, just as it does in the post-ARS stations. It’s the smaller changes to the older stations that make me nervous.

    There ought to me more opportunities for additions to existing stations; several stations are candidates for substantial modifications as a part of the Momentum plan (and any associated funding package).

    Another change of the stainless steel variety that should be partially revealed soon is the new sales office at Metro Center.

  • charlie

    The emergemcy stairwell and extra fare station are going to be a waste; how long before the main entrance is closed at 9 PM and the access is elevator only?

    And still not clear how they will remove the old elevator.

    Agree about the lighting and overall the look isn’t bad.

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