Diving into a new world

    Karlsplatzpassage / Söhne & Partner architectsKarlsplatzpassage / Söhne & Partner architects

    Karlsplatz is one of the most central and popular underground rail junctions in the heart of Vienna.

    Going underground into the pedestrian under path people leave the feeling of the city behind. Entering the underground tunnels you could also find yourself in Munich, Prague or Paris. There is no reference to Vienna anymore, no feeling of the city above.

    No connection to the outer world

    The underground area is a world on its own with no connection to the outer world. But especially in this delocalisation we find the potential and the inspiration for this design. If there is no connection to the outer world why not just create a small world on its own? If there are so many trains arriving and departing every minute and masses of people seem to be just passing by and floating through - why not turn it into the world of water?

    Water is a strong symbolic element for the flow of traffic, people, trains and much more. And when it comes to forming landscapes, rivers and water are quite significant as well. But despite the important role the river Wien played years ago by forming the area around and under the Karlsplatz, nowadays water seems to be banned from public underground areas.

    This proposal tries to get water back into the Karlsplatzpassage. People should be enabled to dive into a new world by entering the under path. The way the mass moves from one train to the other or from one exit to the other reminds of the movement of waves.

    Broken wave

    The three important areas in the under path are the Opernpassage, the Ladengasse and the Hauptpassage. Those areas are connected by a broad path - and the movement on the path is the main wave leading people through the whole area. The main wave finally breaks at the ticket and information counter, which is the heart piece of the underground facility.

    The exits to the train tracks are painted in the colour of the train line - the bright colours catch the passenger's eyes right away and help them finding the right train.



    Vienna, Austria