The opening of the DART Green Line in 2010 represented the largest light rail expansion in the United States with 19 diverse passenger stations that create a community canvas for art and architecture. The problem presented by the client was to develop a fresh look at typical station designs to establish an enhanced image and agency identity while allowing the stations to be neighbourhood gateways, adaptable to the social, economic, ethnic and historic framework of each community.
Achieving the project vision was accomplished through a flexible station framework that allowed adaptation to unique environments through a community-driven design process. The architect-led design team included a station-specific artist, landscape designer and community group for each station. The team worked extensively with the community to adapt each station to the unique context of each neighbourhood.
The process resulted in innovative stations where art and architecture reflect the ideals, history and culture of each individual station area. Each station has a theme supported by the community's vision that drives individual design elements, providing an interactive means of engaging patrons while waiting for the train. The stations are executed in a manner that enhances the passengers' comfort and safety while also capturing their imagination.
The project evolved the passenger station building type into an environment that not only enhances the passenger experience but also makes the community a canvas and a place that belongs to the neighbourhood. The transit system has the largest display of public art in the United States, making art available to the public at no charge. The stations honor the community and make art accessible. You don't have to go to a gallery if there's art at the train station.