Built in 1963 and named after the nearby Royal Ontario Museum, the Museum Subway Station was in need of an upgrade. It has now been ten years since Diamond Schmitt Architects transformed the Museum Station with an archeologically-inspired design.

Many of the elements are based on artifacts from the ROM and include iconic symbols from Canada’s First Nations, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, China, and Mexico. ROM Magazine has acknowledged the anniversary of this artful design in the article “Art on the Tracks”.

Ontario Panelization reclad the walls with Mauve 3mm Aluminum Plate. Fire-rated ¼” Lexan was placed behind the panels to spell out “MUSEUM” in large lettering. The hieroglyphic inscription, machined on the back of the panels using a CNC, originates from the tomb of ancient Egyptian Nobleman, Met-jet-jy, and dates to approximately 2300 BC. The panels are backlit so the beauty of the design stands outs. The cladding contains standard reveals between the letters as well as hairline reveals within each letter.

There were some restrictions with construction as the subway trains ran throughout the day and well into the night. It was therefore necessary to work overnight instead. Also, because of time constraints, the usual scaffolding wasn’t able to be set up and removed each morning so a trolley was assembled that could carry the panels down the tracks and stop where needed. Overall, it was a rewarding experience to be part of such an impressive and decorative architectural design.

The subway station design received international recognition as one of “the world’s most beautiful metro stations” in 2014 by The Guardian in the UK.

You can also check out the article by Diamond Schmitt Architects on their website.


ROM – Museum article “Art on the Tracks”

Diamond Schmitt Architects – article

The Guardian (UK) article