Underground Subway Art in Sweden

Photos: BBC Travel Above: Stockholm’s Baroque past The green, red and white lines that run along the floors of Kungsträdgården Station...

Photos: BBC Travel




Above: Stockholm’s Baroque past

The green, red and white lines that run along the floors of Kungsträdgården Station were also painted by Ulrik Samuelson in 1977. The art harkens back to the history of Kungsträdgården (“The Kings’ Garden”), a park that belonged to King Charles XIII in the 17th Century. The green stripes symbolise its once beautiful green Baroque gardens, the red hue is for the gravel pathways and the white lines reflect the marble statues that once graced the grounds of the king’s Makalös Palace, which stood above the station’s current location. (Lola Akinmade Åkerström)



Above: Workers unite

Ultvedt also wanted to honour the welders, carpenters, steel workers, engineers and miners who toiled daily at T-Central station. Instead of inscribing their names on walls, which felt eerily similar to a memorial, he painted silhouettes in blue of the workers (in keeping with his other blue-themed motifs) over the walls and ceilings of the Blue line connection. (Lola Akinmade Åkerström)




Above: Background mosaics

With so much other activity at T-Central Station, commuters might not notice the pattern of multi-coloured glass prism tiles running the length of its walls. Designed in 1958 by Erland Melanton and Bengt Edenfalk, this was one of the first art installations in the underground network, and is called “Klaravagnen” -- referencing the old “Klara” neighbourhood that was located above here in the 1950s. (Lola Akinmade Åkerström)



Above: Kungsträdgarden

Running 110km underground in Stockholm’s Tunnelbana (subway) is the world’s longest art exhibition, with paintings, sculptures, mosaics and installations created by 150 artists since the 1950s in more than 90 of the city’s 100 stations. Arguably one of the most dramatic installations is the vibrantly coloured abstract harlequin design that engulfs the Kungsträdgården Station along the Blå linjen (Blue line) in the centre of Stockholm. Painted by Ulrik Samuelson in 1977, with later additions made by the artist in 1987, this ceiling artwork can be found on the Arsenalsgatan exit side of the station. (Lola Akinmade Åkerström)

Text and images via BBC Travel

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