7. September 2019
The new limited express car for SEIBU Railway in Japan by Architect Kazuyo Sejima, winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize
The concept was to develop a new, “never seen before” train car that would become the departure point of Seibu Railway design for the next 100 years. The name 001 is derived from the reverse of 100, with 00 also signifying many possibilities, or ∞, the symbol for infinity.
Nicknamed “Laview,” the name stands for:
L for a space reminiscent of Luxurious Living, A for speedy like an Arrow, View for the Views through the large windows
The design was developed for many people to enjoy their rides on an express train that gently blends into the urban and natural landscape.
The design concept, exterior, and interior design was commissioned to Architect Kazuyo Sejima, winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize.
Ms. Sejima’s comments: I was approached to develop a train car concept, “as never seen before”. This is my first time to design a train and the most obvious difference with building design is that the train can move to different places. This train moves through the city to the mountains of Chichibu and I thought it would be nice for the train to be able to respond and blend into the surroundings in a soft way. Also, I wanted to make a train which feels like a living room where passengers can freely relax and feel motivated to ride the train.
The front of the train’s soft impression is achieved by a 3D curved glass of 1500mm radius, the first in Japan to use such large format. This front curve streamlines the overall shape of the train while softly adapting to its surroundings.
With the aim of softly blending into the surrounding urban and countryside scenery, the train exterior is finished with a new aluminum paint developed especially for Laview. The degree of reflection was carefully studied to show a “new impression of the scenery”.
To provide a relaxing living room-like feeling for each passenger, windows are placed continuously in equal intervals in each car. Through the large windows of 1350mm x 1580mm passengers can enjoy the scenery in large panoramic views.
Soft warm yellow seats are arranged in a space with large windows and white walls. The new sofa-like seats are shaped to wrap the body and are equipped with an adjustable headrest and armrest table. The aim was to create an atmosphere where each passenger can relax in his / her own way.
The soft indirect light from the vaulted ceiling fills the space with light. The lighting color adjusts throughout the day for increased comfort.
The entrance is designed with warm yellow color tones and an artificial marble floor to create a welcoming and calming atmosphere. A portion of the wall is slightly curved to encourage leaning in a relaxed position.
Images: Courtesy of Kazuyo Sejima & Associates