This Is What Tube Stations Of The Future Will Look Like

James Drury
By James Drury Last edited 29 months ago
This Is What Tube Stations Of The Future Will Look Like
How the ideal entrance hall to a London Underground tube station would look.

London Underground has revealed how it wants all its tube stations to look in the future.

A 224-page document lays out a set of design rules to ensure upgraded or new stations follow the same nine principles, so that stations are developed in similar ways and "retain and celebrate individuality and local character".

Among the major changes is a new approach to lighting, which moves away from overly-lit, harsh spaces to more warm environments that use light to highlight key areas for customers such as essential information and ticket machines.

In the 'ideal station' layout above (click for bigger), there's an overview of some key points, including making accessibility a "significant design driver" and ensuring concourses are not full of advertising which might confuse people when they have to make decisions about where to go.

Click for bigger.

Here's what the stations should look like from the outside — including being eye-catching, having cycle station hire nearby, being accessible, and designed with security in mind. The station entrance should be designed to let in as much natural light as possible, says the document, called a design idiom.

Interestingly, the above layout for walkways recommends using dark floor material, with light skirting to provide visual contrast. It also says light should be used to accentuate the curve of the space.

Here's what escalators should look like: using "impact advertising" the length of the escalator (TfL will be under increasing pressure to bring in revenue not from fares as the money it gets from government is phased out).

The platforms should look like the above artist's impression, says Studio Egret West, which created the document. We like the idea of using a band of colour to highlight entrances to platforms. The idea of moving the tube line map away from entrances — to prevent people standing and looking at the map when people are trying to get onto the platform — will also be popular.

Finally, external station platforms should look like the above.

Check out the full document here.

The launch of the idiom is part of an 18-month celebration called Transported by Design, which includes events, competitions and exhibitions across London. There's an exhibition of the idiom which is currently on at Platform behind Southwark underground station. It is open for public viewings on the second Friday and Saturday of each month in the first quarter of 2016, from 11am-7pm. The exhibition can also be viewed by appointment by emailing

Last Updated 03 December 2015

Continued below.


I went to see the design company's presentation of this at their studios a few months back - very interesting stuff, especially their Tube map with the building styles of the station marked on.

Geoff Marshall

IIRC, the extension of the Met to Warford will *not* be like this, but the two new stations on the Northern line - Nine Elms, and Battersea are going to be the ones that look probably exactly like the drawings above! just replace 'Idiom' with 'Nine Elms'. and you've got your station ...


Good to see the provison of a shopping mall is principle number one.

Greg Tingey

No mention of the worst aspect
Too many loudspeakers, set at a dangerous (above 85dBA) volumes, spewing out repetitious rubbish that is neither use nor ornament.
E.G. "There is a good service on all lines" - Well SHUT UP, then!
"Use all available doors" - Actually, I can only use the one in front of me, can.t I, stupid moron.
"This is Arshole Central" - yes, we can all read & don't need to be deafened ( And, no, it's of no use to blind people, either, actually - if you think about it....
There's lots more of this verbal excerment, but I think you get the idea.

Ross Bale

Empty platforms, no crowding on the station forecourts or escalators either - Wow simply can't wait!


"In the 'ideal station' layout above (click for bigger)"

Tis broken


I'm just so sad that the government intends to stop granting TfL money, forcing it to be more and more full of advertisements... TfL is not some silly government department squandering money - it's a vital beating heart of London, which is the driver of UK economy...


Looks quite smart - always hard to tell from from artist's impressions.

I do think, as I go through the new Tottenham Court road station for example, how BORING. There's no sense of effort, of style, or colour... compared to the old stations.


They seem to be missing the ticket office lol!