Once, subway stations were intended to be solely functional, not beautiful. Over time, however, financiers and designers became more interested in the idea of making these drab underground spaces aesthetically pleasing. The Gern terminal, one of the many stops along the U1 line of Munich's electric rail rapid transit network, is one magnificent result of this changed mindset. Unlike a normal station, this facility’s walls are not monotonously tiled concrete, but rather feature a colourful display that seeks to tell a story. The same ethos extends to the lighting, seats, and other aspects of the station's dynamic design and fixtures.
- Start with the walls, where panes of glass have been mounted against blue substrates featuring architectural drawings, plans of houses from the neighbourhood, as well as short texts about city planning and the history of Munich.
- Look up, where nine pyramid-shaped, lampshade-like structures made of aluminium extend from the ceiling, reflecting light from the fluorescent tubes inside, creating an illusion of daylight shining from Munich's sky.
- Now look down, and study the Gern’s storm drain; its dark pebbles create a nice contrast with the lighter platform floor.
Gern is a station located along the U1 line of Munich's U-Bahn. The easiest way of getting to the terminal is, of course, by train. Board the U1 line and get off at Gern. Trains cease to operate at 12.30 AM during weekdays and 1.30 AM on weekends. In such cases, use the Nachtbusse, or night buses. Another way would be to use a taxi; these are available at designated taxi ranks around the city. Renting a car or motorcycle is another option. Because a number of streets in Munich are pedestrian only, walking may sometimes be the only option.
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