Metro maps, they are a work of art. Luckily, I have brought a metro map placemat home from a recent trip to Paris. Never a dull moment during dinner. We search for coincidences like stations with the name of another city – Anvers, Rome, and Liège – or stations referring to a date – 8 Mai 1945, Quatre Septembre.
Many names of Paris metro stations are of the kind that keeps echoing in your mind. My personal favourites are Réaumur Sébastopol, Barbès Rochechouart and Sèvres Babylone – unique names created by the crossing of two streets.
But that is not the only reason they sound so well. Apart from French language doing its bit, there is this other thing.
While most of the stations are named after streets or squares, you rarely find the words boulevard, avenue, place or rue in the stations’ names. Without this unnecessary and unspecific information, the names are inevitably stronger.
And that is why this thought came up my mind. Can we rename some Amsterdam metro stations in a way that makes them sound stronger? Let’s do a little experiment with 10 stations taken from different lines (including the new North-South line) in alphabetical order.
Old name New name
Verrijn Stuartweg Verrijn Stuart
So, what do you think? Does it make the station names stronger? Will they keep echoing in our minds better than the old ones? I bet you already know my opinion.