Elegant Experiences in Bright, Modern Spaces Odakyu Electric Railway’s Romancecar 70000 series GSE
Corian® Solid Surface is used for the sinks that are also included in the existing Romancecar 50000 series VSE, the seat windowsill tables, and other objects Designed by the Noriaki Okabe Architecture Network

The Odakyu Electric Railway’s new Limited Express Romancecar 70000 series GSE train—linking sightseeing sites like Shinjuku, Hakone, and Enoshima—made its debut in March 2018. Mr. Yoji Matsushita, who works in rolling stock at the Odakyu Electric Railway, explained, “We planned for the GSE to inherit the Romancecar’s traditional style as a replacement for the 7000 series LSE that unfortunately was retired in July. Its biggest appeal is the dynamic scenery from the train windows.”

 

 

Corian® Solid Surface is used for the sinks that are also included in the existing Romancecar 50000 series VSE, the seat windowsill tables, and other objects Designed by the Noriaki Okabe Architecture Network, photo courtesy of Mr.Yoshihito Imaeda , all rights reserved

 

The first car that contains the scenic seats (which is said to symbolize the Romancecar) has a windshield made from large, curved glass and there are no luggage racks to ensure dynamic views. Curved glass, one meter high, is also used for the side windows so that people in the regular seats can also fully enjoy the scenery. We spoke with Mr. Noriaki Okabe, representative of the Noriaki Okabe Architecture Network, who designed the train cars. He said, “Regarding the essence of design, we prioritize how much space we can create in interiors. This is the biggest factor that provides good livability. When designing a train—which cannot be said to have a great deal of extra space—we had to minimize the impact of luggage racks and make the ceiling seem larger. To that end, we designed the luggage racks so they wouldn’t harm the sense of space, with a soft impression like a cloud floating in the sky.” Corian® Solid Surface was used as the material on the curved underside of the luggage racks and the covers between the windows. Mr. Okabe said, “In addition to fabrication qualities, this material also helped create the visual texture and spatial qualities we wanted. Our general design philosophy is to incorporate the warmth of a wood to a moderate degree, but for the GSE we wanted to further highlight a brighter, more modern look. I think Corian® Solid Surface has a texture with a gentle impression like wood or stone—one that anyone can sense—as well as a modern expressiveness.”

 

Corian® Solid Surface is used for the sinks that are also included in the existing Romancecar 50000 series VSE, the seat windowsill tables, and other objects Designed by the Noriaki Okabe Architecture Network, photo courtesy of Mr.Yoshihito Imaeda , all rights reserved

 

Mr. Hiroshi Yamaguchi, also of the Noriaki Okabe Architecture Network, described their reasons for choosing Corian® Solid Surface as follows: “There are various restrictions on materials used in rolling stock, such as fire resistance and safety. We went with Corian® Solid Surface because it met these requirements while also being freely shapeable, as well as light with a specific gravity under two. We knew it’s a very familiar material used in items like kitchen countertops, so we were confident of its durability and easy maintenance. That’s why we selected Corian® Solid Surface with confidence.”

All sorts of situations must be thought out when choosing plans, designs, and materials for train spaces that are used in various circumstances by unspecified numbers of passengers. The goal was to offer Romancecar passengers a more comfortable and refined experience and to achieve this, the railway company and designers had to work together. “Rolling car production is an extremely harsh world. Being able to do something new in this field is not a small step, but a big leap forward,” said Mr. Okabe. It is certainly a big step forward for Corian® Solid Surface as well.

 

More information about Odakyu Electric Railway’s Romancecar 70000 series GSE :

Project Name:  Odakyu Electric Railway’s Romancecar 70000 series GSE

Location:  Japan

Application Areas:  The seat windowsill tables, and other objects

Corian® Solid Surface Colors: Cameo White, Cirrus White

Design By:  Noriaki Okabe Architecture Network

Builder/ Joiner:  Odakyu Electric Railway Co., Ltd.

Fabricator:  Apex Co., Ltd

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