University of Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid


Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

New York designer Karim Rashid has renovated the University of Naples subway station in Naples, Italy.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

Commuters pass between huge columns with the profiles of faces towards a shifting lenticular wall of graphic patterns.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

Sculptures and graphic artworks line the escalators, leading to platforms with backlit patterns on the walls.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

More about Karim Rashid on Dezeen »

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

The information below is from Karim Rashid:

The University of Naples subway station is highly trafficked by a multi-cultural, academic community of thousands of passengers a day.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

A creative concept that communicates and embodies knowledge in the new digital age, language in the shrinking global landscape, innovation and mobility in this third technological revolution.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

Naples is no longer a historic southern city of Italy but instead now is an integral intellectual information haven that extends itself throughout the rest of the world.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

This is the changing Italy and the station is a metaphor of this new wired global condition. It integrates the station with its surroundings, as well as provides a platform for innovative, cutting-edge design strategy.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

We utilize the descension from the piazza to the subway platforms to represent a metaphorical shift from the conscious brain to the spiritual mind. Experiencing this journey, the commuter is able to define one’s own experience by interpreting the individual shift from a busy “brain state” to a focused “mind state”.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

Entering into the station from the piazza to the subway station, the visitor will walk though a space clad with tiles, each one with is printed with new words created in this last century. Once the visitor arrives in the station lobby, he/she is impacted by the soft nature of the space, the striking palette of colors and patterns.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

Along the back wall of the station lobby level, lenticular iconography changing colors and perspective provides an interesting siteline as commuters proceed to the platforms below. Intersecting the space between the heads profile benches (metaphorically intersecting the dialogue) is an abstracted, SYNPOSIS sculpture reflecting the nodes of the brain and the synapses which occur within.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

When descending to the subway platforms via escalator, a visitor experiences a transition from the busy piazza to a more intimate, focused environment. It is here where we display various artworks and other graphic art as a focal point. These abstract images invoke the user to shape the environment according to his/her own creative interpretations.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

Rolling LED programming situated behind frosted glass displays universally recognized words, referencing knowledge and the multicultural university setting.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

Descending and ascending the stairwells on each respective platform, the steps have abstracted portraits of Dante and Beatrice. Once the commuter arrives at the end of the escalator, transformational digital art follows he/she to the platform stairways. The accent colors, lime and pink, indicates the direction and guide visitors through the descent to the final destination.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

Airframe surfaces speak about the beauty of our airframe voxels of the flux and ever dynamic multidimensional information and data age (infostethiks).

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

The platform level of the subway station is where the people spend the most static time. One’s experience while waiting for the subway is enhanced by the tranquil, imaginative environment of the “mindstate”. Seating is provided in the form of landscape forms.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

The back wall of the subway platform is a backlit artwork, providing a continuous soft glow in the space. Across the platform, digital artwork creates an entertaining distraction. In addition to related iconography, the piece could include a shadow of an oncoming train, etc. to signify a train’s arrival.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

A subway station is a temporal, transitional space, yet the commuter is contained for a short period of time before continuing his/her journey.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

As he/she transitions from one environment to another, he/she is most likely reviewing the day’s previous events, or preparing for the next task. Our concept focuses on the commuter experience within the train station, and how the surrounding environment can serve as a respite in a day’s schedule.

Naples Metro Station by Karim Rashid

Globalove, Karim Rashid


See also:


Switch Restaurant by
Karim Rashid
Fluxus by Karim Rashid
and Michela Vianello
Snoop and Woopy by
Karim Rashid for B-Line

Posted on Friday April 1st 2011 at 2:00 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Roy

    With all the respect, don't get what and where is the design. Only big stickers with patterns on the walls. One banch is not a design for a metro station.

    • Mark

      you don't categorize patterns as design, Only furniture? Ignorent comments are a major flaw to this site.

      • roy

        the brief of this work is to design a space.I never said graphic work is not a design, but in my point of view, a real interior design must deal with all 3D of the space. I would expect a bit more from a designer like Rashid.

    • LCH

      I agree…and this is a full piece of crap…Everytime he uses same patterns with all those fancy colors and it doesn't even catch eyes anymore…I would say it's an useless piece of work. He should know how to broad his own perspective…

  • Dan

    I think I'm feeling sick…..

  • oscar

    verschrikkelijk, dit is de walging nabij, kom je terug van je drukke job worden je zintuigen ook nog een keer verkracht.

    • amsam

      google translates: "terrible, this is the disgust around, you come back from your busy job, your senses again raped." Sing it, Oscar!

    • adzy

      Typical Nederlander…je kan niet uit de doos dinken. Dit is verboden om colour en patterns te gebruiken, dit is tegen de regels etc. Open your mind dutchie.

  • Renny

    Few great ideas and many stressfull graphics!
    This metro station sometimes seems a very ugly shopping mall and sometimes a great project.
    Anyway I think that if Karim Rashid want really to change the world should do this kind of works and stop to design unnecessary obejcts for everybody.

  • zetre1

    it could use a bit more design.

  • richard

    THose aren't 3D render eh. Talk about hideous and overwrought

  • Doug C.

    Did the Italians really want a giant rotational bust of Benito Mussollini in their subway station? The last image of him is him being strung up by his feet with his mistress in a public square. An odd choice.

    • I assume you're talking about Renato Bertelli's bust, and I actually didn't make the connection till you mentioned it. It's funny because the columns were the only part I liked in this big mess of a project. If it was all about applied graphics to keep costs down and impact up, I wish they'd given the commission to Mendini.

    • essesti

      Are you sure that one is Benito Mussolini bust?…please, give me an answer!

    • J-Sho

      It’s either a scaled up copy or a very near copy.

      This seems like a MAJOR point that no-one else seems to be picking up here – I don’t care that it looks like a disco (why not? I prefer discos to Metro stations). I DO care that there is a statue of a fascist dictator in the middle of it (how ever cool and important a statue, artistically speaking). Is this going to set a global trend? Who should we bring back next?!

    • Chris Meplon

      Karim Rashid did an EgO Vase in 2003 that was produced by Vitrocristal in Portugal. The “deep reference to art history” (as specified in press material) was a bit unsettling indeed, cfr. a close reworking of Renato Guiseppe Bertelli’s “Continuous Profile” from 1933, a portrait of and tribute to Mussolini. Now, Rashid is copying his earlier interpretation on a larger scale and in Naples. Is he making a political statement or just being utterly indifferent to historical context? I admit : I like the idea of a profile in a column, but I think Michael Eden’s idea was far more interesting and poetical when he reworked Bertelli’s portrait by replacing Mussolini’s profile by Audrey Hepburn’s! (Cfr. Audrey’s Light for Established & Sons, 2010).

  • RanDom

    Mr. Rashid, perhaps there's someone missing in your design team! you need to hire or consult someone that explain you that a night club, a store, your flat, and a metro station ARE NOT the same thing!!!

  • Nico

    It's a crime against humanity happening there. UN should start thinking of a resolution about this station.

    • wpgmb

      agreed. this metro station is a danger to civilians. a no-fly zone + a few cruise missiles should do the trick.

  • Neil

    This is another April Fools right?? Please, tell me it's an April Fools

  • ben

    no matter what guys, I think the young italians will think its cool.

    • Gladio

      No man, the italians will not think that is cool. With all the respect for Rashid, i think this project is really bad

      • chris

        I don't know. Have you seen those Invicta backpacks they've all been so into for so long? This station looks pretty much like the designs on one of those.

  • jacob

    karim made few quite good designs but for last few years is only copying his older ideas. when u do ultra-coloristic highly-shining designs it is not eniugh for me, first time it was great, secodn one it was good but when i see for 1.264.792 time it's only boring. but i like him very much as a person

  • Andrew

    If you are going to throw away money like that, would be better to donate it to Japan.

    • pero

      well said bro!

  • Joel Escalona would be very prouf of this…

  • antepostnow

    rashid was so proud of the project when he told us some years ago as he semingly spent some time in naples – not too sure he left the most impressive mark with this job. but hey, sure he had a good time and rest assured, he made a good buck.

  • Peter

    Reminds me of a tween girls bedroom.

  • This has to be Aprol fools. A joke with really high render cost. And if its not, well then, I dont know.

  • nofelix

    no-one's mentioned the ceiling (first two images) beautiful, elegant and restrained, unlike the rest of the station!

  • oldschool

    wow…gotta be either really brave or delusional to post that here, knowing that it'll be shredded in the comments…save for the plants who'll post about how 'edgy' or unique it is…

    ummm…not really

  • melon

    Oh dear lord. Really? I wish this was an april fools joke.
    Rashids constant regurgitation of the same motifs, patterns and colours on everything from plates to (now) metro stations makes one wonder why he is such a design 'star'. It's the same thing over and over again – except worse: this time it is overlaid with a load of bullshit – quote:
    "Intersecting the space between the heads profile benches (metaphorically intersecting the dialogue) is an abstracted, SYNPOSIS sculpture reflecting the nodes of the brain and the synapses which occur within.
    When descending to the subway platforms via escalator, a visitor experiences a transition from the busy piazza to a more intimate, focused environment. It is here where we display various artworks and other graphic art as a focal point. These abstract images invoke the user to shape the environment according to his/her own creative interpretations."

  • as much as i like Karim Rashid's designs this is not successful i think he should stick to designing furniture and accessories. Architecture is not as simple in design as furniture and accessories.

  • gab xiao

    Rashid defiles an apparently banal program with a cornucopia of digital and historical references. No wonder it is too much, yet their abuse and flamboyance represent a welcomed passage from the chtonian 'underground' to the equally historically rich and tumultuous city fabric.

    I find it beyond 'taste', or any common aesthetic wisdom – a visual acid trip that counterpoints the frigid, sometimes full of squalor world of underground stations (see for instance the New York stations forever left to the rats by Tea Party governmental slugs). Dante and Beatrice's forbidden love may have been outrageous for a world of signed prenups, indeed…

  • f.m.baumgartner

    Its like walking through a box of drops

  • Oh dear I didn’t expect him to literally blow his brains out and call it design… chunks dripping everywhere! Where is the restraint?

  • rash

    His graphics destroyed everything.

  • Vincent

    Big KR showroom…

  • guisforyou

    is DISCO back?????

  • Easymatic

    I think it's fun! Why is nobody complaining about the zillion other tube stations that are really boring and soulless? The design community should ecourage projects that break with the usual monotony. Even if it's not the politically correct international style everybody is used to. Here is a client who wants something special and different and he got. Great!

  • I think it is really amazing as a project. However, I don't know if I'd like to see it every day especially if I'd had a drunken student night the day before.

  • quinn

    Good lord…I wish I could say that words fail, but unfortunately they do not…dizzyingly raucous, overblown, nauseating, poorly wrought, application of color rather than actual design…how does this pass for design? This is such a perfect example of the Emporer's new clothes…

  • Franco

    This project is already old, in two years it will look odd and decadent, like italian politicians ! If the designer could have taken some Itten theory course, just to know how to balance the colors…

  • Gilbert

    Yes agreed… where is the design component in this project?.. this is mere decoration and cosmetic works to an station

  • Looks like Mr. Rashid watched a little too much "clockwork orange". The people that hired him, must think he is "edgy".
    This designer believes, he should design childrens bedrooms, for parents who want their children to have major nightmares!

  • dexter's laboratory. nuff said

  • scm

    no people – horrible colours/graphics

  • hiro-k


    It's Karim world.

  • Kerby

    It makes you happy to finally arrive at WORK

  • Greenish

    Does anyone else see Darth Vader in those weird black columns?

  • Hercule Poirot

    It would surely be cheaper to let the graffers do their job. At this level, bad taste becomes Art.

  • douglas

    There are some good elements, but too many combined in such a way is plainly overkill. The ceiling lighting in the entrance is very nice. The escalator ceiling panels, I like too.

    The pertinent issue is whether the design (because even decoration has to be designed, as it cannot just occur) is suitable for a subway. Though I suspect those most critical on here would hate it even if it were a nightclub – such is the knee-jerk prejudice towards Rashid.

  • Feels like Disco in here..

  • Piotr

    Glam disco station

  • Laura

    I feel like I am on an acid trip

  • A random spraying of textures, colours and shapes that sit together awkwardly without any sense of purpose or refinement.

  • PeeWeen

    Come- ON!! this is mind-blasting, very humorous and lsd/ 70s style without taking drugs! love your designer like you love yourself and your pink-shirt!!

  • Ran

    What piece of music would best represent this station?

  • Michele

    The challange is very big the change is not radical BUT working with fix pattens ( fixtures) the most one can do play with colours and in my opinion is innovative..for our days.
    However, when fianlly the plafom change aspect and the advertising leave place fpor cultural infomation …something revolutionary could be done

  • Jamal

    A lot of people are missing the point. To the average subway user, this is a pleasant trip through something unusual and interesting – an underground wonderland. It’s not a million dollar project, but for a lot of people it may just be the best part of their day.