DO NOT SPIT: our Flinders Street Station subway work

Our glazed screen brings an new-yet-old character to Flinders Street Station’s Elizabeth Street subway.

The subway screen accompanies you along a 90-metre journey. It’s for viewing close up and on the move as you hurry for your train. We don’t expect you to stand still and ponder it. Depending on what platform your regular train leaves from, you’ll probably see some sections of it every day, and some almost never.

The familiar graphic elements are from the subway’s original hand-painted signage: pointing hands with shirt cuffs, platform numbers, destinations, and the classic “DO NOT SPIT ON FLOORS WALLS OR STAIRS”.

The big letters are printed with opaque paint in a rasterised style (pixels, dots, lines, gaps). That way, the screen is permeable and see-through though it has a distinct presence. The patterns fluctuate between fuzzy and clear to create an augmented sense of motion, like the blur of trains moving in and out of platforms.

The orange, rusty red and mustard colour scheme gradates from light to dark and back again several times. It comes from the original cream subway tiles framed with coloured feature ones.

The main challenge was to fit a consistent, modular design into a decidedly un-modular space that has sloping floors, steps, ramps and gaps for Myki gates. Nothing in the subway is straight. Therefore, we made a collage of diagonal text fragments and patterns that don’t need to look straight either.

Incidentally, the subway joins Platform 10, where we’ve delivered a new entrance connecting to the Evan Walker Bridge and Southgate beyond.