WEEKLY

SOMETHING ABOUT MTR (II)
地鐵二三事(下)

如果打卡是一種文化,那麼港鐵車站絕對稱得上為孕育文化的勝地。色彩繽紛的月台,香港人大概望之無感,但外國遊客卻能從平淡無奇之中找到樂趣。遊客與車站合影的景象早已屢見不鮮,甚至有愛爾蘭夫婦踏遍八十多個車站,只為拍攝一輯照片,並將其拼湊起來,構成一幅絕妙的彩色拼圖。上回Chessman Post介紹了廣為人知的「地鐵宋」,這次我們將會談談港鐵車站的顏色配置。

當地鐵系統無縫地銜接生活的每一隅,我們很少會考慮車站的設計、顏色配置如何影響我們的日常生活。不過,也許你內心曾泛起一絲疑惑:為何不少國際大城市如紐約、倫敦的地下鐵路,均採用簡潔而充滿現代感的白色磚牆,唯獨港鐵的顏色才如此花巧?根據港鐵首席建築師文若德(Andrew Mead)所言,由於地鐵站內沒有窗戶引入自然光,故港鐵選用鮮艷的顏色作為月台牆身,希望令車站看起來更明亮和美觀。

除此之外,還有另一個人性化的原因──在地鐵剛通車之時,港人的識字率偏低,先撇開英文不說,很多人連中文字也認不出。為了讓市民能用雙眼辨識車站,港鐵便想到用顏色去區別。試想像,置身於擠擁的車廂中,萬一沒聽見廣播,連隻字片語都看不懂,又怎會知道何時抵達目的地?假如月台是千篇一律的白色,那就更無從稽考了。幸好,港鐵巧妙地運用顏色配置,讓乘客只要在人群隙縫中督見月台顏色,便知道是哪個車站。現時港鐵有接近一百個車站,大部分車站都有其背後的配色準則,而鄰近車站的顏色亦不會重複,避免混淆視覺。言歸正傳,究竟港鐵一般會按照甚麼準則來選擇月台的顏色?

隨名而來的色彩
有些車站,大家不消一秒就能輕易道出它的顏色。黃大仙用黃色,藍田用藍色,這似乎合情合理,也不難做到。令人驚喜的是,彩虹站竟然也鋪上七彩顏色的磚,而鑽石山站亦有銀色方塊在全黑的紙皮石牆身上閃爍,呈現多變的絢麗意象。至於太子站選用紫色,皆因紫色為英國皇室最具傳統及權威的顏色,故只有它與「太子」一詞匹配。說到底,配色這回事,越簡單越好。

用顏色揭示地貌
數年前因一本《四分之三的香港》出版,我才得知原來香港有面積廣達百分之七十五的郊野。生於毗山鄰水的城市,我一直懵然不知,但港鐵好像早已洞悉這一切。因為香港大學、何文田地理位置靠山,所以用綠色及青色;堅尼地城、黃埔則用藍色,象徵該站與水為鄰。

鮮艷的視覺衝擊
心理學,聽起來高深莫測,卻無處不在,就連車站的配色也牽涉心理學的範疇。不同顏色的光線會刺激不同的視錐細胞,從而喚起我們的情感和記憶。例如紅色、黃色等顏色帶有警告的意味,能吸引乘客的目光。因此,旺角站、中環站等重要的轉乘站均以紅色為主調。

延續機場的氛圍
每次抵達香港站或九龍站,總會聯想起機場的格局。閘門彷彿是多啦A夢的隨意門,帶領人們瞬間轉移到機場。綜觀眾多條港鐵路綫,機場線為最平實的一條,以柔和的灰色作背景。文若德表示,這樣的配色主要是希望藉由乘客對灰色的投射,讓他們意識到自己已進入機場範圍。

近年來,港鐵在車站更加入書法、雕像等藝術元素,試圖為繁忙的城市人增添一抹趣味。我們難免厭倦一式一樣的生活,但決不該放棄尋找世界的美。偶爾卸下本地人的身份,用旅人的角度觀摩身邊的環境,發掘屬於每個車站的故事,亦未嘗不是一件好事。

撰文:王以珞
美術:王曉澄

If posting check-in photos has become a popular culture, then the stations of Hong Kong MTR would definitely be considered the best locations for nurturing this culture. While Hongkongers are entirely fed up with the colorful platforms, many foreign visitors are able to find pleasure when they travel with MTR. It is not unusual for us to see visitors having their photos taken on the platforms. An Irish couple even stopped by each station and took a collection of photos. In the last issue, we introduced the different types of “MTR Song”, and we will talk about the color coding of MTR stations this time.

The MTR system has already seamlessly embedded into our environments, and therefore we seldom think about how its design or color coding could affect our daily lives. Nonetheless, you may wonder why the railway systems in some cosmopolitan cities, such as New York and London, would apply the clean, futuristic white tiles to decorate the walls, whereas only MTR would make the walls look so fancy. According to the chief architect of MTR Corporation, Andrew Mead, since there are no windows to draw in the natural light in MTR stations, they meticulously chose some bright colors such that the stations would be less gloomy.

Besides, there is another reason related to the passengers—back in the times when MTR first opened, the literacy rate of Hong Kong people was quite low and they could not recognize Chinese words, let alone English words. To allow passengers to recognize the MTR stations with their eyes, the MTR Corporation picked different colors to differentiate the stations. Just imagine, in a compartment jam-packed with people, how could you be able to know when to get off the station if you could not listen to the broadcast or recognize any single word? What do you think if all stations appear in white color? Fortunately, the MTR Corporation has developed a unique palette of colors to help passengers differentiate the stations. There are around 100 MTR stations so far, and each of them has a distinctive color. In addition, same color would not be used in successive stations to avoid confusion. Let us get back to the question: what principle would the MTR Corporation use in picking colors for different platforms?

Color the Station with Its Name
For some of the stations, most of us would be able to name their colors promptly. Yellow is used at Wong Tai Sin station as “wong” means yellow, while blue is used at Lam Tin station because “lam” refers to blue. It sounds logical, and it is not so difficult apply one color in a station. What makes people so surprised is that there are rainbow-streaked pillars in Choi Hung station since “Choi Hung” literally translates to “rainbow” in Chinese. Also, the pillars in Diamond Hill station are in a black hue, but you can spot some silver bricks sparkling in the dark. Purple is used at Prince Edward station simply because it is commonly associated with royalty in western culture.
Picking colors for stations does not always require sophistication.

Unveil the Landscape with Colors
Thanks to a book called “Three-quarters of Hong Kong” published few years ago, I have come to realize that 75% of Hong Kong is covered by countryside. Living in Hong Kong for so many years, I did not know this until I read the above-mentioned book. Yet the MTR Corporation knows it long before the book was published. The HKU station and Ho Man Tin station are green because they are closer to hills. The Kennedy Town station and Whampoa station are blue since they are closer to water.

The Vision Impact
Psychology seems to be unfathomable, but it exists everywhere, even in MTR stations. Different colored rays could stimulate different cone cells, hence evoking our emotions and memories. For instance, red and yellow are often used for signaling caution or warning. Red color is, therefore, used at interchange stations such as Central station to alert passengers.

Extend the Atmosphere of Airport
Whenever I reach the Hong Kong station or Kowloon station, I would immediately associate with the setting of airport terminals. To me, the platform gates resemble the “Anywhere Door” in Doraemon, which takes us to the airport just in a second. Among all the railways lines, the Airport Express is relatively plain in terms of color—with soft grey tone as the background. Andrew Mead said this was all to do with creating an extension of the airport, so passengers would feel that they were already in the airport.

These years, the MTR Corporation keeps adding artistic elements in the stations, including Chinese calligraphy and sculptures, bringing enjoyment to all busy passengers. We would inevitably feel tired of the monotonous life, but we should never stop seeking out beauty in the world. Sometimes it is not bad to see things from the perspectives of travelers, so as to discover the interesting stories of our surroundings, such as MTR stations.

Text: Elok Wong
Art: Agnes Wong

ISSUE #205

SOMETHING ABOUT MTR (II)

 

TEL +853 2833 6288
FAX  +853 2833 6266
Info@chessman.com.mo 
R.de Pequim, Edf. Com. Kong Fat. 9/AB, Macau

TEL +852 2180 4188
 FAX +852 2180 9615
 Info@chessman.com.hk
 Unit 2703-04, 9 Chong Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong

All right reserved ® CHESSMAN