Stockholm is the city of design and architecture! Art holds a prominent place in Swedish culture. So much so that it has even become a legal obligation. Indeed, any architectural project must integrate an artistic component, participate in its development and allocate part of its budget to it. In fact, art is spread all over the city, even in the most unusual places. The city's 90 metro stations have been decorated since the 1950s. Each has its own theme and atmosphere. We offer you a selection of the most surprising metro stations in Stockholm.
Photos of the article © Stockholm City Guide, unless otherwise stated
Rådhuset station on Kungsholmen Island was carved out of rock, like many of Stockholm's metro stations. But unlike the others, it has retained its raw appearance. We have the sensation of penetrating the bowels of the earth and the visitor feels like a paleontologist. The cobblestone pillars seem, in fact, to push the ocher ceiling of the station, as if a prehistoric cave suddenly emerged on the surface of the city. This gives an atmosphere that is both mineral and warm.
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The Solna Centrum station is a critique of the industrial age. The artists painted a forest, inexorably destroyed by human exploitation, by the installation of factories and by environmental pollution. The violence of the damage is symbolized by the blood-red background, on which is represented a large fresco. Despite everything, a few notes of humor relativize this work which may seem frightening, on a dramatic subject.
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Photos of Solna Centrum © Jakub Hałun & Allgau
The Kungsträdgården station in Norrmalm has a baroque decor, reminiscent of the cartoon "Alice in Wonderland". The decoration is so rich that it can seem overloaded. The whole is particularly destabilizing. However, every detail has been thought of to symbolize a garden. The artist wanted to represent colorful flower beds, crossed by paths made of white gravel. They are dotted with statues and columns. The geometric compositions stand out against the designs in shimmering colors. This decor, corresponding to a royal garden, pays homage to the historical past of the district, which housed the Malakös Palace. Elements of the palace have also been judiciously used to give the impression that one is visiting an archaeological excavation site.
The Stadion station in Östermalm is the one that serves Stockholm's Olympic stadium. The artists are therefore inspired by the Olympic Games to create a very colorful decoration. On the ceiling, a gigantic rainbow, against a blue sky background, has been painted on the concrete applied directly to the stone. Located on a fairly low surface, it is almost overwhelming! However, it is a colorful painting that detonates and surprises the visitor. Some rocky parts are still visible through the grids that cover them. This station has a childlike and cheerful charm.
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The Thorildsplan station is on the theme of video games. Fans of the first consoles will find there all the references of their youth: Pac Man, Mario Bros or Donkey Kong. Far from the stations carved into the rock, it is covered with tiling. It therefore has a more contemporary and modern aspect than the previous stations.
Stockholm central metro station. Its decoration of blue lines dates from 1975, it was made by the artist Per Olof Ultvedt. The background of the station has been kept raw, painted in gray and blue graffiti has been drawn, representing geometric shapes or drawings of workers.
Here is a very unusual heritage of Stockholm. This selection is obviously not exhaustive and we wish you wonderful discoveries and surprises in the Stockholm metro.