The five stations of the Metro line 1 (Museo, Piazza Dante, Salvator Rosa, Materdei and Piazza Quattro Giornate) have been designed by the architects Aulenti, Mendini and Orlacchio but have been integrated, both inside and outside, with works of contemporary art commissioned from artists from Campania, without imposing any requirements in terms of age or style. This experiment is without precedent in ltaly, and even internationally there have been few such initiatives.
An art venue is created which does not have to conform to the traditional genres, nor rely on reference to painting, sculpture, design or architecture pure and simple. This feature distinguishes works belonging to different styles, linked by the need to break out of the discrete disciplines in order to achieve an aesthetical peripatus associated with a process of acquiring knowledge.
Salvator Rosa and Materdei
It was decided to use similar shapes, materials and construction features for the two stations of Salvator Rosa and Materdei, but to distinguish them by using different decorative elements, colours and characterization of the access points above ground. The aesthetic brief was to make the areas below ground attractive, tight and modern, heightening their elegance and dignity (using polished metal white glass and coloured rubber flooring). The two stations will be differentiated in particular by the colouring of the floor surfaces. The areas below ground (platforms, escalators, lifts and so on) will be suitably technological and futuristic in appearance, while above ground the constructions will match the context into which they are being inserted: the layout and the various materials have been chosen with an eye to enhancing the existing urban aspect. These two stations have been designed not just to fulfil their primary function, but also to explore new possibilities of exploiting gardens, recreation, bars and play areas. They offer visitors the chance to cross cultivate various disciplines. It was decided to enhance the aesthetic dimension of these large urban spaces by integrating some works of the visual arts into the architecture.
The first station finished and placed in service was Università: the renovation of the square made by Alessandro Mendini reorganized the city life above the colored design of interiors by Karim Rashid. This case had a unique issue, a designer called to create an entire art installation over the station hall, stairs, corridors and platforms: a geometrical and fully colored pattern is performing a reiteration of around vertical and horizontal surfaces of all levels, where different ambientation is found to reveal “A creative concept that communicates and embodies knowledge in the new digital age, language in the shrinking global landscape, innovation and mobility in this third technological revolution.” (as Karim Rashid described his work).
The station was designed by Oscar Tusquets Blanca with a sensible approach to lights and materials. The sober colors of entrance are imagined to allow the wall designed by the artist William Kentridge: the Processions represent a recall to the history of the city, within the technic of mosaics, which is found typically in the vernacular art of Romans. The language of the artist is able to connect the collective imaginary of people to the history testimonial of the city: these figures seem to belong to local tradition without contradictions. The back of the procession is designed with maps of ancient Naples, simples objects connected to represent the most popular form of public meeting in the local history: the processions. The artist was demanded also to realize a masterpiece for the square above the station, the Toledo knight stands with its unusual shape: a knight riding a horse is the icon chose by the artist to configure this site.
The huge project of Garibaldi square is widely merging the stations of national rail service, regional rails and subway. Inside the Line 1 station access stairs a unique artwork is installed by artist Michelangelo Pistoletto in his second participation in Naples subway Stazioni dell'Arte. The first work was settled in Dante station, and now, the double reflecting iron panels, lead the bottom arrival of the escalators system which is making of the stairs access a real machine space.
The huge castle is dominating a new gorgeous square, connecting two subway lines and the touristic harbor. 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, within an exposition of naval relicts discovered by the shaft digging.