A journey with a multi-unit train through the Alps is an exciting experience. The panorama slowly unfolds before the marvelling passengers and they get to see the region at close hand. To increase this experience, the interior design of the RhB Zweispannungstriebzug (dual-voltage, multi-unit train) of the Swiss Canton of Graubünden sensitively reflects and reinterprets the local architecture. Two central themes, each with evocative local names, “Vrin” and “Vals”, were developed to create an easily readable, associative structure in the interior. The “Vrin” surface is an interpretation of the dominant, traditional Graubünden wooden houses and is a stylish linear decoration used on the interior cladding throughout the train. Its flowing wooden lines are interrupted by boxed materials whose surface has the appearance of stone: the “Vals” surface. This resembles irregular stratified monoliths. The interior design is clear and compelling and details such as the seat motif harmonise with it seamlessly. The seats are covered with a traditional chequered pattern that recalls the past, when British travellers frequently visited this region. The motif is evocative of plus-fours and the woollen travel blankets used in horse-drawn carriages. The pattern in first class adds a touch of casual luxury to the precise appearance of the wall decoration; whereas, in second class, strong blue tones convey a feeling of jauntiness.
Statement by the jury
»The jury’s award to the RhB Zweispannungstriebzug (dual-voltage, multi-unit train) highlights a railway train that undoubtedly sets new standards both for its exterior and interior. The design semantics are both simple and thought through. The quality of the materials used and the level of finish is exceptionally high for a train of this type. It is in particular the seats and the interior that convey a sense of quality which is comparable to what one would expect in furniture and interior design. Every detail from the seats to the luggage-storage facilities have been superbly prepared and make the RhB Zweispannungstriebzug (dual-voltage, multi-unit train) something special compared to other trains in this class.«