Competition 1996 – 1st Prize
Design Meinhard von Gerkan and Jürgen Hillmer
Project managers Renata Dipper, Birgit Föllmer
Project team Susan Krause, Frank Hülsmeyer, Maja Gorges, Kristina Kaib, Bernd Stehle, Torsten Neeland
Light planning Conceptlicht, Helmut Angerer
Client Deutsche Bahn AG
Construction period 1998–1999
The "Metropolitan" is a new train system offering a shuttle connection between two cities, with a high standard of comfort and service, aiming to be an alternative to planes. Therefore the design process concentrated on the creation of an individual identity for the train. The exterior as well as the interior should be perceivable as a stringent unit.
The design, which stands out against comparable products such as the Inter-CityExpress train, forms an independent "train identity". The "Metropolitan" is the "silver train". The metal character of the envelope represents speed and quality. Its dynamic impression is continued in the interior with horizontal sections and a continuous row of windows. A clear linear structure of seating and aisle zones enhances this impression.
A separation by carriages in the zones "Office", "Club" and "Silence" offers the passenger various forms of utilization with specific functions. All carriages are equipped with rows of two seats on one side and one seat on the opposite side of the aisle. The seats are identical throughout, with integrated folding tables and communication connections.
An important characteristic of the equipment is the use of natural materials: multiplex boards, stainless steel and leather create a comfortable atmosphere; these materials also age with "grace". Plastics are avoided. Respectively, the colour concept is reduced to the natural texture and nuances of these materials.
Luggage is stored above the windows on a shelf which integrates indirect lighting and reading lamps simultaneously.