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Monday, August 8, 2011

Fun With Subway Commuting: Riders Zip Down Playground Slide to Enter Dutch Metro Station



overvecht metro station playground slide utrecht netherlands photo

Screenshot from NOS Nieuws video.

Let's face it: Even on the nicest, newest subway or bus system, commuting is typically a bit of a grind. One metro station in the Netherlands, though, has sought to liven up the experience -- by installing a slide that riders can zip down instead of taking the stairs. Sounds silly? It is. But it also looks awfully fun.

The slide -- officially called a "transfer accelerator" -- is part of an overall renovation of the aging Overvecht Station in Utrecht, and the brainchild of the local design firm HIK Ontwerpers. According to the U.K. commuter paper Metro:

The designers explained the slide is a gift to the rail commuters and hope it will create a playful urban area that could generate positive energy in a disadvantaged neighborhood.

Video: NOS Nieuws.

It's not the first whimsical addition HIK Ontwerpers has made to Overvecht Station: Previous projects included an installation of poetry written out in lights and a fully equipped outdoor kitchen with seating area that people were encouraged to use for picnics and other social gatherings.

Dutch blogger Simon de Wilde, who has posted an image gallery and a video of the slide, gives it a thumbs up: "The slide is in use for a few days now and so far I think it is a great success. It makes people smile."