Underground, underwater

This enormous piece of work, actually comprising a number of separate works into one magnificient project, is a part of  Metro Napoli’s Art Stations which has been going on for some time with artists, designers and architects taking part, transforming underground stations one by one into brave new worlds. The Toledo Metro Station was opened in September 2012 as the 16th station built on Naples (Italy) Metro Line 1. Designed around the themes of water and light by the Spanish Firm Oscar Tusquets Blanca,  the station extends below the ground water, at 50 meters deep, and is the deepest metro station built on Line 1 to date.

The art of the station, curated by art critic and former Venice Biennale director, Achille Bonito Oliva, includes two mosaics by the South African artist, William Kentridge, as well as Light Panels Robert Wilson and works by Francesco Clemente, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Shirin Nehsat and Oliviero Toscani.

And here is a very wise, but also very precise description of the entire design.

The communication between internal and external space is entrusted to the structures-skylight, from the street, conveying the sunlight in the rooms below.
The first underground floor are integrated into the architectural remains of the walls of the Aragonese period, while the cast of a plowed field Neolithic, found during the excavation of the station is displayed at the Station Museum, in “Station Neapolis” in the connecting corridor with the National Archaeological Museum.
at level 0, the sea level, indicated by the transition to a spectacular mosaic of blue that is becoming more intense as you go deeper.
This leads to a monumental underground room, dominated by the charm of the oval mouth of Crater de luz, a large cone through in depth all levels of the station, connecting the street level with the spectacular hall built 40 meters underground.

I particularly love the deep blue sparkling crater and I absolutely agree that The Daily Telegraph included the Toledo Station on its Europe’s Most Impressive Underground Railway Stations list.

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