Thorildsplan is one of only three street-level surface stations in downtown Stockholm. The station was built in 1952, but the pixelated artwork by Lars Arrhenius is a more recent addition. Arrhenius was commissioned to create new art in 2008, the caveat being that it had to be tile work. Otherwise, he had total creative freedom, but considering his background the material was a perfect fit.
While planning his work, he drew inspiration from Thorildplan’s surroundings. The street crossings, rondos, elevated sidewalks, elevators, and stairs reminded him of intricate video game levels. Clearly, this also resulted in a work that visually is rooted in 8-bit aesthetics - a source of inspiration that runs through his whole body of work - with pixelated clouds, mushroom power-ups, and projectiles.
"SL and Konstrådet [Stockholm Public Transport and the Stockholm Art Council; the two governing bodies over the subway and public art of Stockholm respectively] only chose art based on the artist’s submissions", explains art guide Marie Andersson. "They never bring suggestions to the table beforehand. And besides, there’s no rule that says that subway art must have a literal connection to a station. Sure, Kungsträdgården’s station art is a mirror of the station’s name. But the maritime-themed Fridhemsplan on the other hand obviously doesn’t depict what’s above ground".
112 43 Stockholm
Thorildsplan is on the subway's green line. You can reach it by taking the no. 17, 18 or 19 train.