On October 8th, 2016 the new station Musterschule of the Frankfurt light rail line U5 was put into operation. The date marked the realization of the results of a design competition from 2010 in which the proposal by Kölling Architekten BDA was awarded a first prize. The competition entry proposed a fluent transition between sidewalk and train platform - an idea that was present as a central element all through the planning stage until the execution of the project.
The result is a light rail station that presents itself as an integral part of the urban space instead of becoming a barrier. The Eckenheimer Landstraße is a fairly narrow and busy street, but thanks to the design of the new platforms it can be experienced as a continuous space from facade to facade. For commuters waiting for their train, the station is a pleasant and inspiring space, for local residents it has become a natural part of their improved living environment.
A differentiated modeling of the complete station area guarantees access to the platform from all sides. Along its entire length it can be reached through stairs, and an optically only slightly inclined walkway intersecting with the steps allows barrier-free access. Like this, additional ramps, handrails and fall protections could mostly be avoided.
The linear pavement mirrors size and direction of the steps and follows the primary direction of movement. The station shelters, lighting fixtures with integrated loudspeakers and further elements were organized efficiently along the lines provided by the stairs. The clear structure, design language and materiality help integrating the new metro station into the urban space in a natural yet careful way. The continuous rhythm of the pavement gives the narrow street a pleasantly generous character.