Bilbao-based BABELstudio have been selected to move on to the second round of an international competition to design new entrances to the subway for the city of San Sebastian, Spain. Current finalists in the competition also include Richard Rogers, Morphosis, and Snohetta – who’s entries I have yet to see – putting the young BABELstudio in good company.
The design calls for a fairly minimalist approach, inspired by the cartoon The Pink Panther – where the main character would lift up the ground plane like the end of a rug, creating a means of escape (see the diagram below). For the competition BABELstudio proposes a similar tactic – giving the impression that the ground plane has been lifted at a single point, creating and elegant drape-like enclosure for the subway entrances.
The structure would be reinforced concrete, which (when combined with the shape) will allow for a very thin cross section of about 5 inches. The concrete will be expressed on the interior, creating a bright white contrast to the darker, tiled surface of the exterior of the entrance.
Looks pretty dope, if you ask me – teenagers and skateboarders will love it. That said, I haven’t seen what the other entrants have come up with – I’ll be sure to have more on this as the competition progresses.