Taipei is home to one of the best subway systems in the world—and it’s not just because of its efficiency, reliability, and impressive dedication to cleanliness. The Taipei Metro, also known as the MRT, recently completed the Daan Park MRT Station, a lush, light-filled station that raises the bar on mass transit architecture everywhere. Designed by local firm Che Fu Chang Architects, the stunning metro station is set in the city’s largest green space and feels more like a greenhouse than a public transit stop.
Located in the verdant and sprawling Daan Forest Park, the Daan Park MRT Station was completed in November 2013 as part of the Red Line extension. Rather than install another boring and common “matchbox”-like subway entrance, the government commissioned Che Fu Chang Architects to design a station that blends the built environment into nature and serves as a transitional space between the underground subway and the aboveground park. Wrapped in full-height glazing and punctuated by greenery both inside and out, the light-filled station has turned into a vibrant civic hub with a sunken garden that’s also helped to increase foot traffic to Daan Forest Park.
Curved forms dominate the design, from the tall, arched ceilings and curved glass curtain walls to the sunken semi-circular courtyard and garden that extends the footprint of the underground platform to the outdoors. A raised plaza and beautiful water features, including a pool, fountain, and waterfall that dampen traffic noise, ring the courtyard. “While travelers alight at the station, they will be driven by their biological instinct, seeking sunlight and breeze to lead their way to the park,” write the architects. “The transition between inside and outside brings the joy of nature and ultimately, turning the daily commute into a wonderful journey.”
Images via Che Fu Chang Architects