New artworks for Helsinki Metro stations

An open competition for the visual identity of Helsinki Metro stations, announced by Helsinki City Transport HKL in the beginning of the summer, has been completed. The competition sought artworks for the walls behind tracks. HKL received more than 70 proposals and purchased 11 of them.

“Overall, the proposals were really good. We’re happy that the competition aroused interest, and we thank all competitors,” saysElina Norrena, HKL’s service development and communications manager.

The artworks vary from line drawings and works realized with graphic elements to more freestyle illustration styles. Some works utilize information design.

HKL sought to give each station an individual, easily recognizable and fresh look that withstands time.

Art experts on the jury were the curator of public art of Helsinki Art Museum HAMKristiina Ljokkoiand graphic designerAri Matinmikkoof the City of Helsinki.

“It’s magnificent that HKL offers non-commercial surfaces at Metro stations for city residents to express their ideas. The proposals approached locality and the individual character of stations in highly diverse ways,” Ljokkoi says.

The selected works will be finalized in cooperation with the artists and implemented during this autumn and in the winter. The total number of boards to be replaced at stations is nearly 500 and varies between 30 and close to 60 at stations.

HKL will make announcements on the artworks and artists as the works are completed.

Winning artworks and artists (the quotes are from the artists on their works):


Pikselit(“pixels”), artist Heli Mannisenmäki. “The artwork is made up of pixels that form landscapes expressing an urban atmosphere. In a hurry, the images appear only as pixels and lines of different colours, but if you have the time to take a closer look, the pixels form landscapes.”


Kamppi, Milkyway. Tekijä Leevi Kerola

Milkyway, artist Leevi Kerola. “The artwork emphasizes the role of the Kamppi station in the vicinity of art museums, using graphic qualities and the power of movement.”


Keskusta(“city centre”), artist Eeva-Stiina Niemi. “The works are based on the unique architecture of the Railway Station area. Easily recognizable buildings, such as the Railway Station, the National Theatre and Ateneum, are repeated in the pictures. The line drawing style pays tribute to such cornerstones of Finnish style asTove Janssonand Marimekko.”

Helsingin yliopisto

Helsingin yliopisto, Eksyksissä muodoissa. Tekijät Janne Koivisto ja Misael Rojas

Eksyksissä muodoissa(“lost in forms”), artists Janne Koivisto and Misael Rojas. “The square-shaped and spherical statues at the eastern end of the station express the station’s abstract idiom. The repeated squares of different colours of the floor are continued in the picture plans. Each picture has lines that resemble the idiom of buildings and things forgotten in everyday life.”

–Hakaniemen helmet(“gems of Hakaniemi”), artist Armi Teva.“The concept presents the gems of the Hakaniemi area through 15 illustrations, that is, a collage of symbols that make Hakaniemi what it is. Some of the illustrations are iconic, familiar views, others are more surprising, ‘hidden’ local details.”


Kurvi, artist Eeva-Stiina Niemi. “The artwork profiles Sörnäinen as an area popular with young adults, an elegantly rough, a tolerant and a self-aware area. The colours of the work stem from the Sörnäinen station and its style, which is trendy again and worthwhile to emphasize in a contemporary manner.”


Palaan kyllä takaisin(“I will be back”), artist Jere Määttä. “My inspiration for the artwork came from the station architecture and colours. What’s fascinating about the Herttoniemi station is the movement of people there and back. Stories and fates in the transport hub, Herttoniemi’s closeness to nature, the sea and land. The art seeks to soothe the station by creating points of connection in the midst of chaos.”


I´m Coming Over, artist Mikko Eerola. “The artwork gets its inspiration from the unique atmosphere of Metro stations. Passengers on the Metro platform can travel in their imagination as they view these paintings.”


Linnut(“birds”), artist Marjo Heino. “The artwork describes movement in ways that make the atmosphere sprightly and positive. The idiom of the birds is novel, and the forms are streamlined but still easily understood. The bird forms are also playful and imaginative.”


Yksityiskohta Kontulaan tulevasta teoksesta "Kuvioidut kivet" (Juuso Koponen ja Jonathan HIlden)

Kuvioidut kivet(“patterned stones”), artists Juuso Koponen and Jonathan Hildén. “The artwork is composed of artistically interpreted maps, which show track sections and the bedrock that the tracks go through or over.”


Yksityiskohta Mellunmäkeen tulevasta teoksesta "Mellunmäen unelma" (Veera Komulainen)

Mellunmäen unelma(“Mellunmäki dream”), artist Veera Komulainen. “The concept of the artwork was to use the history of Mellunmäki from the 1960s and 70s in the imagery. The style of the illustrations is fresh, simple with the use of only a few colours, and personal thanks to the unpretentious style of drawings made by hand.”
New artworks Helsinki Metro stations
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