Elliott + Associates Architects underground project

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oklahoma City is experiencing a second wind. Having transformed its river from a trickling Army Corps of Engineers drainage ditch into a series of connected lakes that are scullers’ paradises, the Midwestern capital is enjoying an urban renaissance. Now its do-over is moving underground with the reopening of its Conncourse system of pedestrian tunnels, reimagined as a sequence of magnificently saturated zones of color by Elliott + Associates Architects.

the Underground is bathed in American-flag blue and red. Yellow represents the offices of the energy companies overhead, green stands for banking, and fuscia means hospitality.

Although the design of the Underground may look simple, the architects have given users plenty to contemplate. Trios of convex security mirrors, lined vertically, punctuate the galleries. In one hallway, yellow and blue combine along one side so that they overlap and appear white on the opposite wall, about which Elliott says, “There’s a little bit of alchemy here.” Exhibitions of historic photographs also punctuate monotonous stretches. “We want to immerse people in different experiences. Like window shopping in Manhattan, you can find yourself walking six blocks and not realizing it.”

text from architecture record
images from elliott +associates architects