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Progress Report

Quick update on the project: Even though I haven’t posted here or updated the site for a while, I’ve actually been spending almost every free hour over the past few weeks working on the architectural portions of the project so that I’ll have something to include in my portfolio for grad school admissions. I need to have it complete and printed by the middle of December, so the clock is ticking.

I’m concentrating on three rapid transit stations:

Highland Heights on the Red Line, which serves as a prototype for a typical elevated station in a suburban-sprawl type setting,
Corryville on the Orange Line, which is a typical deep-bore subway station in an urban setting, and
Fountain Square on the Red, Orange, Gold, and Green Lines, which is the primary transit hub downtown and the nerve center of the proposed system.

I’ve managed to draw up plans and sections of all three stations and I’m pretty satisfied with their level of development. They’re not quite ready for public viewing yet, but they’re getting there fast. Fountain Square is by far the most complicated one, but I think it will also be the coolest. (Think MARTA’s Five Points station cross-bred with London’s Westminster station.)

I’m also starting to crank out 3D renderings of all three stations, which is a particular challenge because I have almost zero 3D rendering experience. Luckily the geometry is fairly simple so modeling the shapes isn’t too big a deal (no weird blobs or anything), but applying materials and lighting is a new ball game for me. Right now I’m doing everything in AutoCAD because I don’t have the spare time to learn 3D Studio Max or Rhino.

Here’s my first pass at what will eventually become the Corryville station, located about 150 feet below the intersection of Vine and Calhoun… There’s still lots of stuff that needs to be added (stairs, escalators, mezzanine, platform flooring, etc.) and I’m still experimenting with the materials and lighting settings. My first task will be to beef up the ambient lighting so that the shadows aren’t so harsh. But it’s a start.


And given that the design of all three stations is based on the geometry of the railcars (which themselves are closely based on the new 7000-Series cars being ordered for the Washington Metro), I decided a few days ago that I’ll need to model and render the trains themselves as well, and show them in the stations. That’s what I’ve been working on over the past few days, and I’m rather pleased with how they’re turning out. Here are the fruits of that effort to date:


I’ve got the interior of the train modeled as well, but a rendering will have to wait until I get back on my work computer (with newer software and faster processors) so I can apply lights and materials, etc. Stay tuned.