Artist To Discuss Design For UNC Charlotte Main Station

Apr 16, 2015

Thursday in Charlotte, the public will have a chance to meet the person behind the new design for UNC Charlotte’s Main Station, which is part of the LYNX Blue Line Extension. With a budget of about $500,000, public artist Mikyoung Kim has had to incorporate practicality and art into the space.

Perspective view of sculptural seating element.
Credit Mikyoung Kim Design (c)

Boston-based designer Mikyoung Kim is one of 14 artists commissioned by the Charlotte Area Transit System to add beauty to an area most will use to get from point A to point B without much thought.

The design for the station includes a plaza next to the train platform. It features a long-swirled sculpture that serves as seating, surrounded by greenery.

There’s a lighting element to it.  At night, Kim says, when people walk through the plaza they actually activate the lighting. 

"The lighting moves through the sculpture and through the bench elements that are perforated metal and cast a shadow on the plaza itself," Kim says.

Kim was selected out of a pool of over 300 applicants. A panel of five art professionals chose the artists.  

Pallas Lombardi is the CATS Art-in-Transit Program Manager.  She says part of the reason Kim was selected to design UNC Charlotte’s Main Station was because of her ability to incorporate nature and function. 

“It’s a special congregating place for the students and the faculty...to wait for the train or to meet people that are coming from uptown. It could be a meeting place or a waiting place.”

Kim says part of the challenge of a project like this is staying on budget.

“I know that the budget sounds like a great deal...but if we imagine it as something that is defining an entire plaza then it becomes something much more constrained because we are trying to encompass something larger than a specific art piece.”

The public can hear more about Mikyoung Kim’s design for UNC Charlotte’s Main Station tonight from 6-8PM at the Mint Museum in Uptown. The station is scheduled to be up and running in 2017.