Tuesday, July 26, 2011

OC Stations: Longfields

When you're commuting day in and day out, it's easy to forget or ignore or simply not think about the stations to which you travel. They are often reduced to a name or a "point A" along your trip home or to work. Through this hyper-familiarity, the unique features of each of the stations get lost.

This week, I want to pause at some of the OC Transpo stations (in no particular order) and really highlight what makes them unique and interesting. Perhaps next time you're out and about, you will also slow down and enjoy these features that you may otherwise not even notice.

Longfields Station

This is the newest addition to the Transitway network - and it looks it. Maybe it's the new factor, maybe it's because I've only visited once, but this is certainly - in my opinion - the nicest station by far.  If I could go and redesign every station, I would use this as my inspiration. It's curvy and bold with its use of glass and metal.

 Longfields is clearly part of a longer term strategy for the Transitway because it doesn't seem to do very much right now. Not many buses come by, and nobody seemed to be out and about while I was there.

The underpass to the other side of the station is very open. Warmly-coloured tiles and natural light from above keep it from feeling like a damp, concrete cave. You can also lock your bike to the rails underneath keeping it dry in the event of rain!

Natural light from above
What truly makes this station stand out is the care taken to reflect the farming history of the area (after all, it is called "Longfields", located near Fallowfield!). Details like the plant silhouettes on the guardrail and grass on the upper platforms really make the place stand out from other inexpensive, cookie-cutter stations.

And then there's the art.

Titled Bellwether, artists Erin Robinson and Anna Williams have created lifesized sheep and a border collie to inhabit the area. It's brilliant how they've captured a sense of agricultural history, playful movement, and an animal presence in an urban environment (don't think I picked that up on my own, it's all described on the dedication plate at the station).

Unfortunately, with the exception of the unfinished sheep (above) that you'll find on the Northbound platform, the art is hard to see! You'll only catch a glimpse from the other side, if you use the elevator (who uses OC Transpo elevators unless you absolutely have to, anyway?) or from the bus window as you pull out of the station.

To really get up close and personal, you have to walk around the station, defying a really big sign threatening you with a $125 fine. If you really want to get up close with some art, there are much cheaper options downtown.

Did you know? Border collies were bred to heard livestock, especially sheep. They are also considered to be the smartest dogs out there.

No comments:

Post a Comment