Waiting Windows

 

The new subway linking central Stockholm with the neighbouring Nacka municipality is one of the most eagerly anticipated, and biggest, investment projects in Sweden. While the project approaches its completion, Nacka Kommun (Nacka municipality) has commissioned a number of artists and creators to highlight and celebrate the new infrastructure through a series of public installations. Note is one of three creative collaborators in this initiative.

Tasked with enriching the soon-to-be completed subway stop at Sickla, our studio was given a relatively clean slate from which to work. The only stipulations being that it be located close to where the new station entrances will be placed, in this case in close proximity to Nacka Kommun’s City Hall and approximately 350 metres away, across a busy motorway and intersection, on a granite hillside.

 

 

  • Project facts
  • Client: Nacka Kommun
  • Location: Nacka
  • Year: 2018
  • Photograph: Kristoffer Fagerström

“This is the first time Note has been asked to do a site-specific piece of art, It was a little daunting at first, as we’re so used to creating architecture, products or interiors which have an underlying functional aspect as well as an aesthetic point of view to balance.”

Daniel Hecksher — Interior Architect / Partner

Note’s thoughts began to solidify around the action of waiting. In a literal sense, waiting for a train at the subway but on a more abstract level, the whole of Nacka Kommun and its 100,000 inhabitants waiting for the arrival of a subway system which will enrich their lives.

“Waiting is a poetic frame of mind, often considered something of a void in our daily lives. A necessity. We have to do it though and if you allow yourself to actively occupy that moment rather than be passive, then it becomes something else altogether. Something that’s not to be seen as wasted time. On a subway platform, for example, you’re a still witness to small slices of everyday life as trains slip by—each passing window acting as a pinhole camera snapshot of the lives happening inside. There’s also the contrasts between day and night; which is an element we thought about lots,”

Charlotte Ackemar — Product Designer

The resulting Waiting Windows installation reflects this poetry of waiting, and the open ended anticipation of the future happenings within the surrounding area. Because Nacka Kommun is not simply receiving its first subway system but also undergoing a municipality-wide housing development that will see the creation of many new dwellings.

Waiting Windows’ main installation area, outside the City Hall, is on a small, lightly-wooded traffic island and will consist of large, rectangular polished stainless steel forms of varying in size, each one positioned to form a gentle curve reminiscent of many of Stockholm’s subway stations. During the day, they will reflect the surroundings and stimulate chance meetings and encounters as people pass through and interact with the installation. At night, each window will be lit from inside at the top of the form. And at the smaller site, another single window will point towards the main installation, also lit during the night.

 

“We deliberately chose not to make Waiting Windows a ‘digital’ piece. Our lives are full of digital worlds in which people don’t meet other people physically. And Note’s spatial work is always about leaving the sense that you’ve experienced something real and tangible. This installation will not have any form of guides to how it should be used, no background text as you might find in a gallery. It’s for the people of Nacka to decide its purpose and meaning,”

Daniel Hecksher — Interior Architect / Partner