The Università station, a modern stop in Naples at the end of the 19th century

by Beatrice Morra

In March 2011 the turnstiles were activated there line 1 station which bears the name of University Station.

Seven years ago I was far from the world of Piazza Bovio and Corso Umberto, of exam sessions and endless days of courses.

I was orbiting in the area of Vanvitelli, in the first year of high school, al Sannazaro. For some years, however, the turnstiles of the University station have been turning following the now bored, now hasty push of my body at least once a day.

Stazione Università interno
The interior of the University Station

The University station

I know it well, I have met people there, I have been there at times - it would be silly not to say - for too long, among its escalators, the platform and the wagons, I have studied it, I have read pages and pages of different books, I have stayed, a little enchanted a little hallucinated by its bright lights and tiredness, to observe its architecture; yet I have never gone beyond a lazy, almost automatic appreciation.

La stazione Università, una fermata moderna nella Napoli di fine '800

Curiosities and stories of the station and its works of art

The station was designed by Alessandro Mendini, together with the stations of Materdei e Salvator Rosa, and from Karim Rashid.

Sifting here and there, I soon discover that it has won, already in 2011, the international award Emirates Leaf International Award from London.

As anyone who takes it every day knows, the two access stairs are one in front of the Stock Exchange Palace, the other on the opposite sidewalk (and how long that traffic light lasts for pedestrians to go from one entrance to the other!).

The entrance stairs are flanked by tiled walls, on which some words of the computer language are written.
Running into the subway (deep, by the way, 30 meters below street level) I absorb them swirling at a glance, taken by their colors, never reading any or perhaps managing to grab a couple. Within. The colors are many - two predominate, and they are certainly not shy colors: acid green e fuchsia.

La stazione Università, una fermata moderna nella Napoli di fine '800

Curiosities and surprises

Just beyond the turnstiles there is a sculpture, designed by Rashid. Is called Synapsi, mentions the neural reticulum of the brain; above is a sign that should be useless - It is forbidden to sit on the sculpture. Always on the level of the validating machines are present two black columns, modeled as a continuous human profile.

Along the quays of the University stop, the walls are covered with panels made with the H3D lenticular system; the stereoscopic and three-dimensional effect is eye-catching even after a tiring day - the other night I saw a little girl playing with her deformed reflection and wedges of light all the while waiting for the subway.

La stazione Università, una fermata moderna nella Napoli di fine '800

The whole descent, in reality, is towards a world of optical games e bright. On some steps leading to the quays they are depicted Dante e Beatrice, in bright colors, a little too bright, over the top like the whole station. I think of the entrance tiles, of the writings network software portable database.

After all, anyone who says that humanistic culture cannot communicate with contemporary languages is, after all, an idiot out of time, whether he is a Dantist or a computer scientist. And who says that the meeting cannot take place in a fluorescent station of the University subway?

Beatrice Morra

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