A train clad with a coated aluminium chosen specifically to blend into its surroundings and an interior with the comfort of a living room. Kazuyo Sejima was approached by the Japanese railway company SEIBU to design their flagship train. Pritzker winner Kazuyo Sejima wanted for the train to blend into its surroundings in a soft way and she wanted the train to feel like a comfortable living room.
The trains striking nose has a large 3D curved window with a radius of 1.5 meters, a first of its kind in Japan. Sejima paid special attention on the aluminium, for which she developed a new coating to achieve a carefully chosen level of reflectiveness. This level helps to blend the train into its urban and countryside surroundings.
The interior was fitted in equal intervals with large windows to enjoy panoramic views of the scenery. Warm yellow sofa-like seats aim to create an atmosphere where each passenger can relax. Soft indirect light from a vaulted ceiling can adjust throughout the day for increased comfort. The train debuted in March 2019 and will run in between two tourist spots Ko-Edo Kawagoe and Hanno.
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The design concept, exterior, and interior design was commissioned to Architect Kazuyo Sejima, winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize.
Ms. Sejima’s comments: "I was approached to develop a train car concept, as never seen before. This is my first time to design a train and the most obvious difference with building design is that the train can move to different places. This train moves through the Tokyo to the mountains of Chichibu and I thought it would be nice for the train to be able to respond and blend into the surroundings in a soft way. Also, I wanted to make a train which feels like a living room where passengers can freely relax and feel motivated to ride the train everyday."
The soft impression at the front is achieved by a 3D curved glass of radius 1500mm, the first in Japan to use such large format. This front curve streamlines the overall shape to achieve seamless reflections of the surroundings.
With the aim of softly blending into the surrounding urban and countryside scenery, the train exterior is finished with a new aluminum paint developed especially for Laview. The degree of reflection was carefully studied to show a new impression of the scenery.
To provide a relaxing living room-like feeling for each passenger, windows are placed continuously in equal intervals in each car. Through the large windows of 1350mm x 1580mm, passengers can enjoy the scenery in large panoramic views.
Soft warm yellow seats are arranged in a space with large windows and white walls. The new sofa-like seats are shaped to wrap the body and are equipped with an adjustable headrest and armrest table. The aim was to create an atmosphere where each passenger can relax in his / her own way.
The soft indirect light from the vaulted ceiling fills the space with light. The lighting color adjusts throughout the day for increased comfort.
The entrance is designed with warm yellow color tones and an artificial marble floor to create a welcoming and calming atmosphere. A portion of the wall is slightly curved to encourage leaning in a relaxed position.
The multi-function restroom is spacious to accommodate various uses and is ostomate compatible. Changing beds and child protection seats are also provided to ensure safety and peace of mind.
Laview is designed with Seibu Railway’s first women only restroom to provide a clean and comfortable space dedicated to women. It is equipped with a stepping board and full-length mirror so the space can be used as a changing room for after work or leisure.