Transportation for an open Stockholm

Stockholm is one of Europe’s most rapidly growing cities, and that growth places progressively higher demands on infrastructure and transportation systems. Almost a million trips are made on the Stockholm metro every single day, a number that increases steadily in pace with population growth. The metro needs to be accessible to all, regardless of physical ability or difficulty, but should also feel stylish, reliable and comfortable enough to convince drivers to take the metro instead.

When public transport is attractive, sustainable travel will increase. With this metro design, Stockholm has taken this motto to an entirely new level to the benefit of both commuters and the city as a whole for many years to come.

Klas Wåhlberg, Managing Director of Bombardier Transportation in Sweden

With the help of Veryday, Bombardier won the pitch to supply 96 new cars to the Stockholm metro system’s red line. During the extensive bidding phase we jointly created two interior themes around the brief, “Scandinavian design with a twist.” The Urbanature theme was influenced by the large amount of greenery in Stockholm. The idea was to provide a relaxed metro ride inspired by the variations in nature, the subtly shifting seasons and the changing patterns of light throughout the day.

The second theme, Open City, is a vision of a metro system that makes you feel at home no matter who you are, where in the city you are, or what your specific needs are. Open City creates a space that facilitates meetings between people but also allows for stillness and contemplation. It’s about moving spaces that take into account changing moods, social interactions and attitudes – incorporating the physical, social and emotional needs of different people.

After winning the pitch, work began to create an interior design concept worthy of representing our home city as a modern, diverse and inclusive place. This highly collaborative process brought together designers and stakeholders from Bombardier, Veryday, SL (the Stockholm Transport Authority), and I-Design all working towards the same goals. We spent time traveling by metro, specifically to observe commuter behavior and doings. In combination with joint workshops, this sparked ideas and laid the foundation for a number of design concepts.

We built the concepts in several stages and visualized them through mood boards, material samples, color collections and 3D renderings. Based on the original two themes, we conceived a series of concrete concept visualizations. We explored a vast range of solutions to ensure a well-thought-out result that would withstand the test of time. The final chosen theme was Open City with the concept of New Minimalism – simple lines and neutral colors that play on proportion, scale and shape. The challenge was to break from a traditional “transportation” look in order to make the metro a place where people thrive, while keeping within certain regulatory constraints. For example, bars that riders hold onto must be yellow, making them easily visible to the vision impaired.

The new cars will feature a specially-designed fabric inspired by the triangular tiles of Plattan – one of the city’s most bustling meeting places. The concept’s mission was to include elements of simplicity, honest materials and craftsmanship – all characteristics traditionally associated with Scandinavian design. In this spirit, Bombardier chose to employ Bogesunds Väveri (one of the only remaining weaving mills with production entirely in Sweden) to create the new seat textiles, and to use only materials of the very best quality to provide a fabric full of detail and life.

We are confident that the new Bombardier metro cars will breathe fresh life into the Stockholm metro system, and we are proud to have been a part of creating the interior Color, Materials and Finish concepts. Keep an eye out for the new cars in 2017!