Monday, March 1, 2010

Adventure #015 - The Stockholm Metro

As I was staying in Stockholm, Sweden, for a few days with my family, we went for a tour of the Metro.

The Stockholm Metro is small, with only three lines, and quite recent. The Blue Line for instance was built in the 70s. Why is this metro special? Because all the stations have been decorated by artists. Instead of covering the rock with walls, the city decided to use the money to pay artists to do something nicer and original. About 1 millions Swedish Crowns were spent on each station (about 10.000€). We made this tour with a designer who wrote a school thesis on the Stockholm Metro. It was really interesting to listen to her as she could explain the significations of the things and knew all the details that we could have missed.

We focused our visit on the Blue Line and started it at Kungstradgarden.

I really liked this first station. While building the metro, a lot of antiques and ruins were found and then re-used by the artists. There used to be a castle in Kungstradgarten that burnt down a long time ago. The station is trying to recreate this romantic and mysterious castle-like atmosphere and was also inspired by the garden that still exists.

Each station has North and South directions indicated somwhere on the floor. You always know where you are!

One of the stations that I liked the best was Rissne. On the walls are painted the History and geography of the World. Why not use the time spent waiting for the metro by learning some things? I liked the childish colours, the bright light, the little stars and skulls lost in the writings.

All the stations were really nice and very different from each others: a reversed garden, blue cubes and clouds representing the sky we could have seen through the walls, gold mosaiques and birds paintings, giant shoes on the ceilings and a giant ear on the wall, many many fascinating things!

So even if you cannot have a guide, I think that if you go to Stockholm, wander in the metro and pay attention to the stations is definitely an amazing thing to do!

1 comment:

  1. Ahah ! Is that experience the explanation for your sudden interest in collecting metro guides from all over the world ?...
    I'm afraid you might not find such interesting thinds in them, though... :/