The Wonderpass - Baker Street / Marylebone Road, London
The Marylebone Road’s once bleak pedestrian underpass outside Baker Street Station has been transformed into an intriguing Wonderpass. Gone are the dingy walls and unreliable lighting: in its place is an engaging cultural walkway, offering pedestrians an enlightening way to cross the road.
Part optical illusion, part local encyclopedia, part gallery, The Wonderpass introduces a new kind of urban crossing – one that actually encourages lingering en route.
Working in partnership with Sing London, Bigg Design created the overarching concept and detailed design for the Baker Street Wonderpass, based upon themes of Victorian peep shows, showmanship, vintage funfairs and a strong sense of the theatrical. The bold red and white spiral visually distorts the tunnel, whilst providing a novel canvas for the fun facts and innovative display cabinets - the contents of which can be changed over time, ensuring continued interest over time.
“The Wonderpass has become an attraction in its own right. Visitors are now greeted by a vibrant space featuring trivia and a timeline of facts about the local area”
- Penny Alexander, Chief Executive of the Baker Street Quarter Partnership
The walk-through experience includes five 'Cabinets of Curiosities'. Each invites the passer-by to peek inside to learn about Baker Street and the surrounding area’s rich cultural history and has been designed in partnership with a local attraction.
The walls, too, are filled with curious facts and local firsts. Did you know that Madame Tussaud perfected her art making death masks of executed aristocrats during the French Revolution? Or that Britain’s very first Indian restaurant – the Hindostanee Coffee House - opened here in 1810? Or that Baker Street was named after one William Baker, the man who built it?
Bigg Design was further commissioned to design and produce the Baker Street Underground Station display cabinet and peep holes. Revolving around the fact that it helped form the world’s first underground railway, we produced a 3D model from a 19th Century engraving of the station using a mixture of advanced digital manipulation and physical model making. The models reference Victorian-era dioramas, paper theatre and shadow boxes.