Did You Know? That’s How an 18th-century Opera Ended Up Influencing the Journeys of the Millions of London Underground Passengers!

Travelling up the escalators at Southwark Station, passengers enter an intermediate hall, where a huge crescent-shaped skylight allows natural light to penetrate the station, creating a gradation of sparkling light in the upper area and changing to the richness of colour in the lower one.

The wall is 16m tall and 40m long and consists of 630 triangular panels of deep blue enamelled glass. The project is a collaboration between MPJ architects and artist Alexander Beleschenko.

On the one hand, the architects focused on creating contrasting experiences of natural and artificial light; on the other hand, Beleschenko drew inspiration from Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s painting 'The Hall of Stars in the Palace of The Queen of the Night', which is the scenic design for an 1816 production of The Magic Flute, arguably Mozart’s most popular opera. 

So, here we are! Neither just an underground station nor a fairy tale only, but a unique cohesion between art and science that makes the daily commute a unique and unrepeatable experience!