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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 16, 2008
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Warsaw Metro Steams Home
April 16, 2008 By P.M.    
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Forget about Madrid, Copenhagen and Dubai. The most beautiful subway station in the world is right here in the Warsaw suburb of Żoliborz. Warsaw's metro might be the shortest in Europe but size clearly isn't everything.

MetroRail, an international metro industry association, said at their annual conference in Copenhagen this year that the Polish capital's Plac Wilsona (Wilson Square) station has the world's most original design. Over a hundred MetroRail designers, architects and engineers unanimously voted Plac Wilsona as the most functional and beautiful metro station built over the last few years. The Warsaw metro clocked up another distinction when its employee Robert Jaryczewski was voted best driver.

The single-story station opened in 2005. The platform is 11 meters wide and 120 meters long and there are escalators, stairs and elevators at both ends. The interior is made of steel, glass and concrete, and the color scheme features shades of gray and silver. The highlight, however, is the elliptical dome over the platform, which illuminates the station and alleviates the noise from the trains. The light it gives off can be red, violet, blue or green depending on the time of day. One of the station's hallmarks is its southern entrance designed as a pair of overhanging weeping willows. The glazed concrete structure sports a white sign proclaiming "Plac Wilsona."

Designer Andrzej Chołdzyński is currently helping design Warsaw's second metro line, whose construction is due to commence in 2009.

MetroRail conferred awards in nine other categories.

Best Metro-Copenhagen Metro
Best Metro Asia Pacific-MTR Corporation Limited (Hong Kong)
Best Metro Project MENA-RTA Dubai
Best Metro Europe-Copenhagen Metro
Best Passenger Experience-SMRT Trains Limited (Singapore)
Most Innovative Financing Project-Metro Milano
Best Maintenance Program-MTA New York Transit
Special Merit Award for Commitment to the Environment-Calgary Transit
Most Improved Metro-Metro de Madrid.
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