The fundamental element is the combination of functionality and aesthetics: the purpose is to expose citizens to contemporary art while daily activities, like public transports. It's also functional to the development and renovation of big urban areas, attracting investments and realizing places that can become fundamental spots in the city.
The stations are distributed among lines 1 and 6 of the underground, hosting almost 200 contemporary artworks, which have been made by more than 90 international artists. The project was idealized in 1995 by Comune di Napoli with the purpose of strengthening the underground. In 2006, the project took its actual shape thanks to Regione Campania, which gave direction concerning the underground stations that have to be seen as museums.
Here are the most important stations:
«You go down the sea, going through the city on a railway of steel
» - La Repubblica
This list has to start with the station Toledo on line 1, located on Via Toledo. It's been elected the most beautiful underground station in Europe
by CNN and The Daily Telegraph. It was realized by the Spanish Óscar Tusquets Blanca.
It's 50mt deep and on the first floor, the ruins of the old city wall have been integrated into the new architecture. Going down, the colors change according to the depth, it's like going down the sea: in the hall, you find the black of asphalt, then a bit deeper the yellow of sand, and on the last floor they become blue, as the depth of the sea. Furthermore, in the hallway, there are LED light installations that reproduce the waves of the sea.
The station Università on line 1 has been projected by the architects Karim Rashid and Alessandro Mendini, and it's located in piazza Bovio. It is very colorful and eclectic since it wants to represent the digital era
. The spaces have been projected according to the ideals of simultaneous communication and innovation. The main colors are fuchsia and lime, and they guide the user through the platforms. In the hall, there are many artworks, such as two pillars with an anthropomorphic shape that look at each other (Conversational Profile
) and a sculpture in steel that has the shape of the human nervous system (Synapsis). At the second level, there are floors with graphic patterns and two light-boxes with the images of Dante Alighieri and Beatrice Portinari, proving the link between humanistic culture and contemporary art.
The station of line 1 Dante has been projected by Gae Aulenti, who also re-planned the urban planning of the 1700 square.
Inside there are big panels which contain several artworks of contemporary artists. In the hall, there are two paintings, and on the wall, there are lines in neon light taken by Convivio
by Dante Alighieri. The upper floor hosts a big panel decorated with old railways.
Museo station on line 1 has been projected by Gae Aulenti and it's situated in Piazza Cavour. On the outside, it looks like a Pompeian red building in Vesuvian stone like the close Archeological Museum. Inside it is made of glass and steel.
In the hall, there is a reproduction of the Ercole Farnese
(the original is inside the Archeological Museum) which has been realized by the Academy of Fine Arts of Napoli, and the head of a horse in steel. In the other hall, there is a reproduction of Lacoonte
, which has been realized by the old chalk of the Academy of Fine Arts.
The hallway looks out the station Neapolis
, a place that contains all the archeological ruins that emerged by the excavation of the underground.
Those are the most beautiful artistic stations, but there are others:
- Garibaldi L1
- Municipio L1
- Materdei L1
- Salvator Rosa L1
- Quattro Giornate L1
- Vanvitelli L1
- Rione Alto L1
- Piscinola L1
- Mergellina L6
- Lala L6
- Augusto L6
- Mostra L6
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