On November 24, Metro announced that they were testing new lighting at Judiciary Square’s F Street Entrance.
These new lights brighten the mezzanine, which is particularly dim. If the lights are successful, Metro will likely expand the format to other stations.
Metro’s original designer, Harry Weese, indended for the Brutalist vaults to remain blank, lit entirely by indirect lighting. However, over the years, Metro has added accoutrement to the vaults, from station signs to security cameras. In most stations, supplemental lighting was added in mezzanines, which tend to be in perpetual shadow.
The new test lighting strikes a medium between the extremes. It adds lots of light to the mezzanines, while still providing light to the vault. At the same time, the fixtures’ design limits the encroachment of the light supports on the vault.