Two Pritzker Prize winners, Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura, designed Piazza Municipio metro station in Naples, an important transport hub in the city centre: across from the Maschio Angioino, only minutes from Palazzo Reale and Teatro San Carlo, Galleria Umberto and Piazza del Plebiscito.
The station designed by Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura is a synthesis of architecture, art and archaeology. Numerous archaeological findings postponed work on the station: whole Roman ships, the ruins of the harbour of ancient Neapolis and medieval fortifications, a clear example of the complex, discontinuous stratification characterising large parts of the city.
The photos taken by Luigi Scarpato, an architect from Naples, reveal the clean, synthetic design of architects Siza and Souto de Moura, also evident in the landscaping of the plaza above the station. Every single element is measured and indispensable, in apparently “simple” solutions which in actual fact reveal incessant control over even the tiniest details. On the platform, for example, a fold in the wall becomes a bench, while the outdoor pavement welcomes the return of the seventeenth-century fountain of Neptune, finally returned to the piazza from Via Medina.
Municipio is one of the “artistic metro stations” created under an initiative coordinated by art critic Achille Bonito Oliva, containing an artwork by Israeli artist Michal Rovner: a big painting brought to life by spotlights and inspired by Mount Vesuvius. The painting welcomes visitors coming to the station hall, across from the tufa stone wall of the Torrione dell'Immacolata, a fortification dating from the days of the viceroys. All surrounded by the contrasting colours of the metro station: white to amplify the reflection of light in the top part and grey recalling lava to cover the parts most subject to contact and wear.
Design: Álvaro Siza e Souto de Moura
Location: Piazza del Municipio, Naples, Italy
Images courtesy of Luigi Scarpato.