Interiors inspired by Sichuan silk industry

Sepanta Design has completed the interior design of 13 stations on a 22km rail line in Chengdu.

Chengdu metro line 9 is the first unmanned subway line in western China and will be the world’s first fully automated line in a city area that operates with high-capacity advanced trains, said Reza Esmaeeli, Sepanta’s founder and ex-Zaha Hadid Architects associate who joined Chetwoods as design director at the start of 2020.

London-based Sepanta won the project last year in collaboration with Chinese architect Jiang & Associates Design (J&A Design). The pair had previously worked together in 2018 on a conceptual interior design for the 22km line which runs from the south-east to the north-west of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.

Chetwoods is now working on some further stations with J&A.

The designs were inspired by Sichuan’s silk and embroidery cultures. Four of the 13 stations were selected to be “feature stations” with bespoke designs while the other nine follow the same general design, differentiated with some local elements.

Esmaeeli said: “Our main aim in the design of Chengdu metro stations was to ‘provoke emotions’. There are some metro stations around the world that do that, but not many. Metro stations in central Moscow are a great example of how to take the design to another level and go beyond the functional and regulatory requirements. Chengdu metro stations are not going to be merely points of transit. They are going to be memorable spaces that offer their passengers an artistic and futuristic expression of their own culture.”