ÖBB Railway Control Center
Delugan Meissl have designed a collection of railway control centres in the required sizes of small, medium and large for the Austrian National Railway’s competition. These control centres are self contained cuboids coated in black latex and do not reveal anything of the state of the art controls located in their interior. Yet these “black boxes” must not be misunderstood as “autonomous sculptures”, as the track superstructures vary in their formal configuration as well as their technical equipment depending on the requirements they have to meet and the locations at which they are employed.
This correspondence of shape and function is best perceived from the narrow illumination slits which are retracted at high-maintenance parts of the control centres. These offset bands of windows, which are backlit at night, formally alters the static control centres in order to act as built-up speedometers for travellers in either direction. The monoliths’ strong visual presence acts as an additional transfer service, as it effectively conveys the new, proclaimed image of old railways.