Pioneer Village Station is lit up by an art installation
A preview of six new TTC subway stations
Art will blend with architecture in the six new subway stations now taking shape along the TTC’s Spadina Extension subway line, set to open in the fall of 2016.
In this series, CBC looks at each of the six stations in more detail.
Pioneer Village Station
Architects: Alsop Architects, London with SGA/IBI Group Architects, Toronto
Artist: Tim and Jan Edler, Berlin
Weathering steel panels at Pioneer Village Station envelope a station that does double duty as home to two city transit systems, the TTC and York Region Transit.
Lightspell, the art built into Pioneer Village Station by Tim and Jan Edler, also multitasks, performing as both station lighting and art installation.
Lightspell strings an array of 16 standard TTC light fixtures down the entire length of the platform. These both illuminate the subway platforms and light up with messages that riders type onto keyboards at platform level. Sophisticated controls will ensure the lighting of the platforms remains constant.
In Lightspell, the artists “hijack” the lighting technology already layered into the architecture and use it in an aesthetic and different way to enrich the architecture, said Jan Edler.
The idea of projecting private messages to the public might raise fears about misuse.
But in similar previous installations, the artists found that people tended not to use such open systems inappropriately, the way they might be tempted to with a controlled system. Edler said he hopes the openness of the system inspires riders to use it in a creative way.
But no matter what riders spell into the array, the art is “always giving a good message because it is serving light to the public,” said Edler.
Read about the rest of the Spadina Extension subway line:
- Downsview Park Station
- Finch West Station
- York University Station
- Pioneer Village Station
- 407 Station
- Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station
Michelle Adelman is a fellow in global journalism at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.