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Railing Inserts for SEPTA Girard Street Subway Station, Philadelphia, Pa.

Our aim in designing the railing inserts was to create an overall visual pattern throughout the station that is both bold and defining. 
In doing so, we chose to reflect the community as broadly as possible. 
This is a hub, with people from all walks of life coming and going with the goal of getting from here to there. 
The area has a history rich with theater, nightclubs, and parades.  One can imagine marching and celebration. 
With these considerations, we decided to reflect the movement of climbing up and down stairs.

This idea was, in part, inspired by the famous images by Eadweard Muybridge, who in the latter part of the 19th century created
sequential photographs of humans and animals in motion.  We used his studies of men and women
climbing up and down stairs as the starting point for our designs.  Muybridge is also highly associated with Philadelphia
having had unlimited financial, technical and scientific backing from the University of Pennsylvania.

As legs will represent movement on the stairways, we chose wheels to represent movement on the elevator railings. 
We designed a decorative wheel motif utilizing the same construction and color scheme.

Each railing insert is composed of (5) 1/8” aluminum panels that overlap.  The center panel will be of standard stock with perforated holes. 
The 4 remaining panels are laser cut designs representing sets of legs walking upstairs on one side and downstairs on the opposite side. 
These 5 panels will be sandwiched together in a 1/8” thick aluminum frame, making the total unit 7/8” thick and for ready insert into the existing hardware. 
The panels will be primed and powder coated in three colors; black, red and ochre.  The red and ochre are meant to repeat the colors in the surrounding historic tiles,
though we would make the colors more vivid.  Because of the perforated center panel, one will see patterns reflected from the opposite sides through the holes. 
The total effect creates a design that can be seen as legs in motion and an abstract pattern simultaneously. 
Colors and patterns will alternate from railing to railing allowing for about 24 possible variations on the stair railings and 12 possible variations on the elevator railings. 

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