Engineering works for the extension of the Metro in Copenhagen are due to be completed in 2018 but until then there are 19 large sites in streets and squares and parks in the city that are surrounded by high hoardings that have become a well-established feature. In some places the hoardings have blocked streets completely and for some sites they are hard against buildings.
To give these hoardings a more positive role in the urban landscape they have been used as a gallery space for very large paintings and for information panels and for community schemes. As the hoardings have been realigned, as work progressed, some art works have been moved around the city and new works have been added.
For many of the artists, this was the first opportunity they have had to work at this scale.
Two prizes of 10,000 kroner have been awarded each year for the best designs, one by popular vote and one awarded by a team of judges.
The first photographs are of the works at Gammel Strand on the south side of the circuit of new stations because they illustrate well the range of designs and concepts accepted for the scheme. The hoardings there include a major piece by the designer Henrik Viskov called Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle and a dramatic monochrome design by the young artist Mads Thomsen. There are also a series of gigantic photographs of major finds from the archaeological excavations by a team from Københavns Museum … this was after all, before the city expanded out onto reclaimed land, the line of the wharf of the medieval city.
A few photographs were posted here but today, with clear light from the snow-covered ground and with less traffic around because of the Christmas holiday, I walked in a long arc around the streets of the north and west parts of Copenhagen following the line of the new metro stations from Trianglen to Vibenshus Rundel through Skjolds Plads with its hoardings covered with photographs of beech forests to the huge area fenced off in Nørrebroparken and then to Nuks Plads, Aksel Møllers Have and ending at Fredericksberg to join up with the existing metro line to get a train home.
The photographs here are published in sequence as I walked from Øster Søgade to Frederiksberg. Not all the works are included but the selection here shows the huge range of ideas and styles and subjects. Some works include 3D elements and there are some with lighting but most are painted or are produced photographically.
At each of the sites, as well as the art works, there are maps, information panels and drawings of the new station.
There is also a good web site with information about the artists and the works and for many of the sites there are short films of interviews with artists or local people talking about the impact the works have had.