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Start on artwork in the new metro

Konst i nya tunnelbanan.
Everything from graffiti removal to acoustics – the artists working with the design of the new metro stations have a lot to think about. On 5 September, there will be a start-up meeting in preparation for the work, which will last a long time. 

Art and accesibility
Of course, one of the most important aspects to consider is accessibility. Artwork can help show the way and tell you where you are. However, it can also cause problems, especially for people with visual impairments. Melker Larsson, Development Strategist at the Traffic Administration provided some problematic examples of artwork from earlier years, such as the cubes on the platform at Solna strand metro station. 

Second deepest in the world
The artist Barbro Westling faces an unusual challenge. Together with Peter Johansson, she will design the artwork for Sofia station, over 100 metres below the surface.

“Our station is so far underground, only Kiev in the Ukraine has one that goes deeper. It’s a big challenge. When you are in a lift you don’t think of how far down you are going. We are going to work on creating a setting that gives you the feeling of travelling horizontally. It feels like pioneering work, since the station is so far underground,” says Barbro Westling.

Problems with graffiti
It is also important to choose the right materials – they must be sustainable and age well. Using the wrong materials can be costly. It must be possible to fully restore all the chosen materials, so that no traces of graffiti are noticable. Many people think that there is less and less graffiti, but it’s actually the graffiti removal that happens quickly, within 24 hours, because graffiti leads to more graffiti.  

Sounds in the metro
The acoustics also play a large role in the metro station experience.  Leonard Kolman, acoustician at the engineering and consulting company ÅF, explained how the dimensions of a room affect the sounds in the stations and which materials reduce echo and other unpleasant noises. 

Artist Anna Lerinder will design the artwork for Sickla station, and she often works with ceramic materials.

“Creating the whole piece whilst keeping with the requirements for a metro station is a challenge. I like hard materials, so the acoustics pose another challenge,” says Anna Lerinder.

Anna Lerinder is excited about the start on the work, but at the same time she is frustrated that it’s so far into the future.  

“But I’m looking forward with confidence. Aside from the sketches, I have been focusing so far on the schedule and budget work for ten years”.

Barbro Westling is also looking forward to the work.

“I am really enjoying both the concept of a complete solution and working with an architect for the first time”.

More about the art in the new metro.

More about the art and the artists.