The main purpose of the Art Stations is to preserve the crucial points of the urban transportation’s network from the anonymity and the homogeneity that usually characterizes stations, airports, highways.
The architectures were designed by internationally famous designers such as Àlvaro Siza, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Dominique Perrault, Oscar Tusquets, Karim Rashid, Gae Aulenti, Alessandro Mendini.
Each station has its own stylistic features and was designed specifically for the area it would serve. The designers were also assigned the task of redesigning the surrounding street system and furniture, bringing to new life areas previously abandoned and so doing a strong social requalification and aesthetic rehabilitation were brought about in large areas of the urban fabric.
At the same time, under the artistic coordination by Achille Bonito Oliva, more than 150 works of art by 80 protagonists of contemporary art have been placed inside and outside the stations. There are site-specific paintings, sculptures, mosaics, ceramics, photographs and installations directly commissioned to internationally famous artists.
The Metro project has had also the distinction of setting in motion a huge time machine. More than 250 million Euro has been spent on archaeology, leading to the discovery of the ancient Parthenope port (Municipio station), with its over 30-metre-long ships, as well as the place where the Olympics were relocated (Duomo station) to in the 1st century AD. This has been a journey through time which, from Angevin bastions, to findings from the Aragonese period, takes us through to the present day.
The Municipio station project had to relate with the Castelnuovo foundations and the incredible findings by archaeological researches.
Principal access interventions :
Municipio station is equipped with escalators and elevators; with tactile walking surface indicators and maps for blind and partially sighted persons. All elevators have Braille and raised numerals and voice announcements (Italian and English).
- Naples, Italy
The latest opening of Line 1 station is Municipio (City hall) station, in full service since June 2015, but still in a partial configuration. The station was deeply conflicted by incredible findings by archaeological research, this determined the choice of Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto De Moura, most famous Portuguese architects, of revealing ancient walls inside of station hallways. The large Municipio transit area will incorporate and showcase the exceptional archaeological finds unearthed during the excavation work for the station in one of the largest archaeological investigations of the last decade.
The antiquity unveiled by the excavations begins with the ancient port of Neapolis, which stood in a small inlet now buried under part of the present-day square. The excavations ass brought to light the sea bottom, sunken ships, a large wharf of the Augustan age, and traces of the occupation of the coast in the Hellenistic and Imperial ages. We continue with extraordinary remains of buildings of the Angevine period erected at the same time as Castelnuovo in the late thirteenth century, and the outer fortifications of the castle, built under king Alphonso V of Aragona and then the Spanish viceroys, with the towers of the Molo and the Incoronata.The latter is already visible today on the landing of the Line 1 station.
When work is complete, the Municipio station project will bring metro lines 1 and 6 together in one large transport hub. This new underground space will serve as a pedestrian link between the port and the historical area of the city, while urban planning at surface level will enhance the perspective axis from the Maritime Station at the Town Hall to the San Martino hill.The Fountain of Neptune, a large marble group created by the work of Domenico Fontana, Michelangelo Naccherino and Pietro Bernini up till the end of the 1500s and subsequently by Cosimo Fanzago, has already been relocated to the square in front of the Town Hall.
In Municipio station the constant dialogue between modern architecture and existing historical structures salvaged inside the station is the guiding theme of the project by the two Portuguese architects, Àlvaro Siza Viera and Eduardo Souto de Moura, featuring clean lines and skilful attention to finishings in lava stone and white plaster, in which the lessons of the great masters of the Modern movement are reflected in its geometric lines.
Municipio station contains a large contemporary art installation: Passages by Michal Rovner (Tel Aviv, 1957), a “video-fresco” – as defined by Achille Bonito Oliva, artistic coordinator of the Art Stations – in which images from five high-precision projectors blend with images drawn in pastel and painted with watercolours by the artist directly onto the long, white wall of the atrium (37.70m x 4.00m).
Author of the article:
Maria Corbi, Gestione Patrimonio Artistico, ANM Azienda Napoletana Mobilità spa
This text has been compiled by the use of several sources and informants. We would like to thank, Sabatino De Stefano, Ufficio Opere Civili / Esercizio Metropolitane, ANM Azienda Napoletana Mobilità and MN Metropolitana di Napoli SpA for their collaboration, and Isabella Tiziana Steffan, at Studio Steffan – Progettazione e Ricerca, Milano for hinting the possibility to participate in this project, as well as her help with elaborating this text.
Photographic archive of the ANM Azienda Napoletana Mobilità spa
Heritage significance and attractiveness
The project of Stations of Art of Naples Metro has been promoted by the town administration to make the transportation environment more attractive, to put big areas of the city to its best use and to offer everybody the possibility to meet contemporary art and archaeology.
The Art Stations are one of the most interesting examples of decentralized museum spread over the urban area. A museum where works can be enjoyed by people in movement (150.000 passengers a day).This strategy aims to improve citizen’s quality of life, not only in physical but also in moral and intellectual terms, and to make the use of public transportation a more attractive experience.
Naples Metro has a dual purpose for the city: the first is its functionality, guaranteeing the majority of city residents access to the system within walking distance; and making the city’s main tourist sites accessible. The second relates to the metro as a feature able to attract tourists in its own right. It has an incredible cultural heritage, valued at 58 million Euro in artworks and architecture. Out of 1.33 million tourists per year who use line 1 to visit the city, approximately 176,000 visit the stations as cultural locations. This is even without having yet completed some extraordinary works, such as those of the Municipio station’s archaeological park. In order to support the aware enjoyment of the artistic heritage, ANM, the public transport company of Naples, has implemented actions aiming at the communication and teaching of art. Metro Art ANM’s educational service promotes this rich heritage of art, architecture and archaeology: guided tours, school activities, workshops for children, private tours. Museums, Schools, Universities and associations operating in the city participate in educational projects for students, citizens and tourists. The meeting with art and culture, if duly facilitated, can be an important factor in the increased perception of satisfaction and well-being, and a tool to improve relations with citizens and develop a dialogue with them, aiming at involving the whole urban context. Transportation, architecture and art: a multicultural crossing of the underground of Naples to move, but also to be more aesthetically aware
The stations of the Naples metro are also an example of engagement between architectural quality and accessibility.
The measures to guarantee the accessibility of the stations to the disabled persons are born together with the project of the stations.
The project integrate the different level of the square, at the ground level creating a one perspective that starts in front of San Giacomo Hall, at the underground level connecting the spaces of the station with the open air archaeological area and the sea.
A global accessibility
The subway is in itself a structure born with the aim of improving the mobility of all the citizens, from those who have more difficulties to move. Therefore the stations are projected from the beginning with all the devices to guarantee accessibility. Architects and engineers have collaborated to integrate, from the project, the strategies and tools for accessibility with the style of architectural design. All Municipio station’s levels are equipped with escalators and elevators.
Elevators have Braille and raised numerals and voice announcements in Italian and English. All Municipio station’s levels are equipped with tactile paving and tactile maps to allow blind people to reach the trains and the exit easily and in all safety. Also the handrails of the fixed stairs are equipped with Braille and raised indications.
Thanks to the possibility of playing with the strong chromatic contrasts given by the use of materials like rubber, tactile paths are able to become a valid and useful visual guide for the partially sighted persons who preserve a minimum percentage of the functionality of their eyes. On the other hand, they are architectural and decorative elements as well, that contribute to the aspect of the station.
The tactile paths continue also on the roads outside the station and
even the tactile maps, so as to guide people to the entrance and exit.
The Municipio station is one of the 11 Art Stations along Line 1 (from Garibaldi to Piscinola) of the underground in Naples that are the result of a project by the municipal administration in Naples. They have inaugurated a new way of devising transit areas which combines architecture, art and archaeology. The work of Art Stations is globally celebrated for it’s beauty, but the stations of the Naples metro Line 1 are also an example of engagement between architectural quality and accessibility. The measures to guarantee the accessibility of the stations to the persons with disability are born together with the project of the stations.
The Municipio station project had to relate with the Castelnuovo foundations and the incredible findings by archaeological researches. The project integrate the different level of the square, at the ground level creating a one perspective that starts in front of San Giacomo Hall, at the underground level connecting the spaces of the station with the open air archaeological area and the sea. Architects and engineers have collaborated to integrate, from the project, the strategies and tools for accessibility with the style of architectural design. This project has been promoted by the town administration to make the transportation environment accessible and also more attractive, to put big areas of the city to its best use and to offer everybody the possibility to meet contemporary art and archaeology.
Players and processes
- Client : COMUNE DI NAPOLI (City of Naples)
- Dealership for the planning and construction of the Line 1: MN S.p.A.
- Architects: Álvaro Siza Vieira, Eduardo Souto de Moura
- Artist: Michal Rovner
- Companies :
GRUPPO ICM SpA
MOCCIA IRME SpA
VIANINI Lavori SpA
COSTRUZIONI GDL Srl
IMPRESA PIZZAROTTI SpA
The dealership of the Municipality of Naples for the planning and construction of the Line 1 is MN Metropolitana di Napoli. The stations of Line 1 are projected from the beginning with all the devices to guarantee accessibility. Since 1971 the accessibility of metros in Italy is a requirement dictated by various national laws and also emphasized in a ruling by the Court of Cassation. In addition, UNI Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione, produced in 2006 the UNI 11168-1 standard Accessibility to rapid mass transport systems/Design criteria for metros.