UP Express

Task: Design and Design Development
Collaboration: Hosoya Schaefer, Zurich - Winkreative, London - Zeidler Partnership Architects, Toronto
Press: Winkreative Design Stories Jan 2014


Toronto is a city with global ambitions. Few things illustrate this better than its major new air-rail link, the UP Express. Brainchild of Ontario’s transport agency Metrolinx, the multi-million dollar project connects Union Station and Toronto Pearson International Airport – the two busiest transport hubs in Canada. We were invited to develop a retail and relaxation area for UP Express passengers inside Union Station.

Working with London-based design agency Winkreative, we transformed the space into a warm-hearted microcosm of Canada. Inspired by the natural glories of Ontario’s landscape, we devised a palette of shades, materials and shapes that would evoke nostalgia in Canadians and excitement in visitors.  To make the vast train station feel more ‘homely’, we divided the retail zone into intimate spaces using counters handmade in local wood. Alongside a coffee bar, the lower level features a small store selling local products. For business travellers, the cosmopolitan and relaxed lounge upstairs is the ideal place to make contacts – and new deals.