American Institute of Architects Gives 25 Year Award to D.C. Metro

January 20th, 2014

Mazal tov WMATA! I gather functional escalators is not a criteria of architectural excellence. Stairs are so much more classy anyway. Here are the jury comments:

The striking design of the prototypical Washington Metro station revolutionized public perceptions of mass transit in the mid-to-late 20th century. The station designs have held up remarkably well despite the phenomenal population growth of the Washington region and accelerating pressures on the system.

The stations are airy and spacious, avoiding the claustrophobic qualities of so many older subway facilities in other cities. They are quintessentially modern while maintaining a certain grandeur befitting the nation’s capital. The original stations are now — and have always been — largely free of graffiti and litter, thanks in part to thoughtful planning on the part of the original architects — the designs actively discourage the sort of degradations that plague many other mass transit systems.

The original Metro stations have become icons of Washington architecture, and the entire system — despite recent controversies about safety and management that are unrelated to matters of architectural design — remains a point of pride for Washingtonians.

H/T Gizmodo