Deserted Station

This was done as another team assignment for University – an exercise in getting impressions from real-world locations and creating levels that meshed with them. We took a trip to Manchester Victoria Station in order to gather reference photos, and then we were to create a level set in a trainstation which reflected what we’d seen there. The goal wasn’t necessarily to create an exact duplicate, simply to make a station that took into account what we’d seen in reality.

The first thing we took especially good care to reproduce was the huge roof over the main atrium.

Ours wasn’t a direct reproduction, but we strove to create a similar impression, simply on a somewhat smaller scale.

The next major thing, one of my personal favourites, was the detail of the pedestrian overpass.

Note particularly the metal-clad concrete pillars in the first shot, and the supporting girder that runs under the centre of the walkway.

It may appear in the second shot as though the overpass has no railings or enclosure, but it actually has glass walls – if you look closely at the second image you can see the glazing bars where the panes meet. Unfortunately, the glass is rather cleaner than in most real stations; looking back, we ought to have created a more cloudy and more visible texture for it.

Next, we focussed on the design of the ticket booths. Manchester Victoria is an old station, and some of the building still reflects that. The ticket booths are large, quite ornate wooden things.

We attempted to create a similar design, but used within the framework of an overall more modern station – similar wooden panelling, but based on white concrete rather than brick, and with a less heavily detailed façade.

We also paid close attention to the signs around the station, ensuring that ours matched as closely as possible, but this wasn’t really within my bailiwick.

Beyond that, our reliance on the research tended more towards the general feel, rather than direct homages to Victoria – ensuring we’d placed enclosed waiting rooms on all the platforms, making sure that people couldn’t reach the platforms from the atrium without passing through an area where a ticket inspector could stand, and so on. Overall, I feel we did a fairly decent job. The main problem with the finished piece, in my opinion, was that there were simply too many flat concrete walls – we focussed quite a lot of our detailing work on the areas around the tracks, ensuring that there were signal lights and junction boxes and so forth, and so we didn’t fill in the platforms so well. Even so, I feel that the lighting and atmosphere help compensate for that – especially the complementary effects of the fog and rain outside, and the warm glow of the platform lighting.

Published on January 5, 2010 at 10:54 am  Comments Off on Deserted Station  
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