This is the first, of likely, many posts from Washington DC. It’s been ages since I’ve been in DC so it was great to get back and explore this city and its architecture further. Instead of vacation, this time I was sent for a commission by an Interior Design firm based in the area. They’re working on the design for a new condo building in the Navy Yard neighborhood and asked me to create images for artwork in the common areas of the building. So, I spent about 3 days exploring many locations…museums, government buildings, the Navy Yard neighborhood itself and the subway stations, as you’ll see in this post. Let’s get to that 🙂
Subway stations aren’t exactly the usual photo op location. They’re often dirty, smelly and far from appealing but the architecture of the DC stations are incredible. Most were designed by Chicago architect, Harry Weese, in the Brutalist style…exposed concrete, repetitive patterns. Brutalism can feel oppressive and, well, it does here too but for some reason, it really works. The stations were clean and well maintained and quite fun to photograph. They’re very dark so it’s a bit challenging as you can’t use a tripod so there’s a bit of noise/grain in the shots. Given the concrete texture of the space, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
There are eleven different architectural types of design throughout the DC area, I think I only managed four of them. The most common is the Waffle design, which is seen in most of the downtown stops.
Arch I is similar to the Waffle design, but instead of a regular pattern from ceiling to walls, the pattern is broken into two different segments for each area.
My favorite stop was L’Enfant Plaza (the Metro Center stop has the same design). Both are major transfer stations so there’s this merging of multiple Waffle designs from various lines coming together. It makes for some great wider and detail shots.
I also photographed a couple above ground stations. One has the Gull I design.
The other is called General Peak.
These are just a few of the shots I got from various stations around DC, you can see more here. Also, I came across this article explaining the various styles of architecture of these stations, thought you might find it interesting 🙂