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ROSSETTI's QLINE Station Design Blends Civic Architecture With Modern Amenities

Twenty new QLINE rail stations will be fully operational today for the opening of the QLINE streetcar rail system. ROSSETTI has been working with M-1 Rail, the owner and operator of the QLINE, and AECOM (Formally URS) to design the new QLINE stations that are located along the 3.3 mile stretch of Woodward Avenue, serving 12 Detroit locations between Congress Street and West Grand Boulevard.

“Our goal was to create minimal and elegant structures that were both transparent and durable.  We wanted the shelters to be visually identifiable as part of the QLINE rail system, but simple enough that they would blend into the context of the various locations where they would be placed.” said Jon Disbrow, Principal and Architectural Lead at ROSSETTI. 

ROSSETTI designed each 98-foot x 12-foot glass and concrete station with a strong modern form that blends with the civic architecture of Detroit to house the 'smart' amenity and sponsor features. Each location incorporates a different color of Pewabic tile, the iconic ceramic tile unique to Detroit. Space for sponsorship was also incorporated into the design. Each station honors the corporate and philanthropic partners whose support brought the QLINE street car to life. Rider amenities at every QLINE station include heating, concrete bench seating, sufficient lighting, WIFI access, a security camera, ticket vending machines, emergency phone and next-vehicle alert screens. 

The shelters are made of precast concrete with an anti-graffiti admixture with five-panel glass partitions. Concrete was selected for its durability and simplicity. Laminated glass was selected for its durability and ability to protect the graphics. Extreme care was taken to promote transparency between areas behind the shelters and the station platforms for user safety and to minimize obstruction to circulation. 

Two primary station typologies exist within the M-1 Rail streetcar system. The base station consists of the M-1 identifiers, service components and furnishings that are universal at each location – creating a cohesive appearance across all stations. The second station typology includes the same features as the base station with opportunities for additional public space and design amenities such as public art, additional benches, bike racks, etc. While some stops have one station, others have two, with one station located on each side of Woodward Ave.