Architect shows how to make Mumbai’s gloomy stations cheerful



The railways is toying with the idea of re-developing railway stations in the country, Mumbai in particular, as a way of garnering funds to run the ailing transporter.

However DNA reader and architecture student Sapan Gajjar says the challenge is to make our stations commuter-friendly and also one with the surrounding architecture rather than eyesores.

He gives a lowdown on what his concept of a simple, user-friendly railway station would be.

What a suburban station should be?
(i) They should be looked at as a ‘Public Space’ rather than the commuter’s node. It is the best example of ‘Architecture for people’ in a true sense.
(ii) Stations generate divide of east & west. A design that will submerge the divide and make it easier for people to transcend it will make the experience meaningful.
(iii) Increasing the choices of the routes, and promoting diversities such as markets, street market, cafeteria, open library can enrich stations. Since efficiency of movement is primary requirement of these stations, offering wider choices of routes could help the intent.
(iv) Station design could incorporate a mezzanine floor.
(v) Appealing and efficient signage can also enrich the experience of the commute, such as structural system (trusses & columns) shall be coloured to notify the routes & spaces.
(vi) Suffocating, Bleak & dark platforms could have a better roof design- lighter, well lit during day and porous, allowing it to breathe and in turn keep the commuter comfortable. More info