Pedestrian tunnels

September 19, 2018

Underground pavements, used to facilitate circulation in the city and generate overlapping activities in the urban system. Reading the cityscape as layers of activities and movements, one can distinguish these forms of pedestrian and cycle tunnels as a bisection of the city flow. Small linear pieces placed vertical against the main circulation line. However, from another perspective, those same “pieces” appear as the connection for a new clearer flow dedicated to low speed moving creatures.

The specific examples concern two types of pedestrian tunnels. The one that passes under a highway in the south suburbs of Stockholm (Skogskyrkogården area) and the other that crosses part of the city creating a quicker path (Brunkebergs tunnel).

 

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The first example is a short tunnel in the woods, free from entry doors, three meters width two-twenty meters height, for both pedestrians and cyclists. Entering the tunnel, you feel the wind passing through, the daylight being reduced and the sound of your steps getting enlarged. You feel you enter a space where time is paused and after some seconds you go back to the “moving world”.

 

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The second example concerns a longer tunnel with entry doors three meters width, three-twenty meters height, for both pedestrians and cyclists. Entering this tunnel, you directly feel the temperature reducing and an echo occupying the space. Here the light plays an important role. It acts as the directional axis of the form, revealing a strict linear geometry. And a mermaid waking up from time to time, spreading a hypnotized sound along the way.

Both cases have a common identity. They appear as non-places into the urban fabric, as mysterious time machines, where humans are the main actors and their activities create a shapeable and active story.

 

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