Paris RER E vs. Rome Metro B: same spaces, different comfort

According to different surveys, Rome Metro is considered one of the most uninviting networks in Europe: dark, dirty, difficult to navigate… One of the worst stations is Termini: after 50 years of countless renewals and extensions, we have now a patchwork of different architecture and signage, in which people get confused and feel uncomfortable.

In an attempt to change this bad image, long and expensive works are currently made in order to improve travellers’comfort. Anyway, some cheaper and easier interventions could improve passengers’ comfort in the meantime.

We could take an example from Paris: RER E.

The current terminus, Haussmann-Saint Lazare:


The following station, Magenta:


And now, let’s look at Rome metro, Line B, Station « Termini »:



Paris RER and rome Metro’s architecture are basically the same: a big vaulted space, including track and platform for both directions, and smaller vaulted spaces, hosting escalators. Anyway, small differences change dramatically the place’s perception:

  • Paris RER uses strong and warm lights, which are able to give a feeling of « home », while Rome Metro uses standard neons, which give a general sense of coldness
  • Paris RER integrates station names into the station’s architecture, while Rome Metro uses standard signs in every stations
  • Paris RER integrates different materials in a global design, while in Rome Metro each intervention follows its own concept without integrating with the rest of the environment.

An intervention on Rome Metro could include:

  • A new lighting concept, which would emphatize the architectural structure of the station,
  • New floor and wall tiles,
  • A new lettering and signage concept.

(source of all images: wikipedia)

2016 edit: Roma Termini has been refurbished, with new lighting and new signage. Here is how it looks now: 

(source image)

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