Beyond Efficiency: Train Station Revitalization
2013-2014 PARTNER: REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY (RTA)
ARCHEWORKS collaborated with the Regional Transportation Authority on an initiative to bring integrated design thinking to Ogilvie Transportation Center, a busy downtown Chicago station that serves as the terminus for Metra commuter train routes, a connection point to multiple CTA bus routes, and includes restaurant and retail establishments in the adjacent MetraMarket and Citigroup Center. Guided by the theme “Beyond Efficiency” the team developed concepts to improve wayfinding and accessibility for all riders and transform the station into a welcoming gateway and amenity for commuters, tourists and neighborhood residents.
Over the course of the nine month project, the design team mapped the journeys of riders through onsite observations, collected user feedback through focus groups with ADA advisory committees, and facilitated design charrettes with diverse public transit users. The team developed a range of design concepts that bring greater wayfinding and directional coherence, promote equitable access, and create a vibrant sense of place for this busy downtown station. This inter-related set of proposals included improvements to navigational messaging, graphics and signage. The team also considered accessibility throughout the station and included proposals for elevator placement and universally designed kiosks. Additional proposals focused on placemaking strategies and included concepts for participatory public art projects, streetscaping designs to designate entrances and connection points, and strategies for revitalizing the station as a gateway to the City.