The German version: here.

No “Buy us!” No “Rent us!” No “Click us!” Instead, I find rigorous concentration, and an absence of advertising anxiety. The descent into Düsseldorf’s underground world is an ascent into a holistic platform of traffic culture. Sensuality, the muses and the arts are all a part of the concept of the Wehrhahn Line, as are comprehensible signage and orientation systems, and the clear division of the architectural spaces. The new underground line, with its six stations, has resulted from the continual collaboration of architects, engineers, artists and the municipal administration over a decade and a half. The Darmstadt practise of netzwerkarchitekten with the artist Heike Klussmann, won a two-phase, European Union-wide competition for the project in 2001, with their concept of the train line as an art line. Art was henceforth an integral part of the building work; it had an impact on the architecture, and intervened in every level, space and stairwell. The unifying element of all six stations is their light, relief-like net structure, with the diamond shape as its basic unit. It is generated by the joints of the building parts and is constantly varied, so that the platform walls have a spatial function and seem to shift. The fascinating thing about the movement of the rhombuses and the six art spaces: One can pause to take in the effect of the train stations as traffic galleries, with ambitious art and state-of-the-art technology – or not. Even when one heedlessly hurries through the art-architectural spaces, these things will not be ineffective. And it so happens that the train stations seem pleasant and aesthetic. The passenger will have all the buy/rent/click stuff on their smartphones anyway, or shortly after leaving the Wehrhahn Line, so it is worth immersing oneself for a short ride in these other worlds. In this overview, we will show you how this looks.

Kirchplatz Station – Enne Haehnle Spur X

"Enne Haehnle’s textual sculpture is both communication and self-communication; it constructs language and with her playful formations returns to the intention of signs and drawings, the communication of information."

Heidi Stecker, author, art historian

They arch and writhe, they climb up the height of the wall and creep around the next corner. These red bands are lyric poetry. For the design of her train station, Enne Haehnle wrote original poetic texts. From these texts, she forged strands of steel glowing red that indicate no directions – a game of perspectives and (il)legibility.

Kirchplatz Station.  Enne Haehnle: Spur X
Kirchplatz Station Enne Haehnle: Spur X © Jan Dimog
Kirchplatz Station.  For the station at Kirchplatz, Enne Haehnle wrote poetic texts and ...
Kirchplatz Station For the station at Kirchplatz, Enne Haehnle wrote poetic texts and ... © Jan Dimog
Kirchplatz Station.  ... then gave them sculptural life.
Kirchplatz Station ... then gave them sculptural life. © Jan Dimog
Kirchplatz Station.  The lines of text leading passengers down into the subway begin at the 3 entrances.
Kirchplatz Station The lines of text leading passengers down into the subway begin at the 3 entrances. © Jan Dimog
Kirchplatz Station.  And then accompany the passengers to the tracks.
Kirchplatz Station And then accompany the passengers to the tracks. © Jan Dimog

"What could also be perceived as disruptive, i.e. the streaks on the wall that can be unpleasantly associated with pollution or mold, is in aesthetic terms ultimately the actual experience."

Ludwig Seyfarth, author and curator

Graf-Adolf-Platz Station: Manuel Franke – Agate (Achat)

They flow, and form a greenish-black world. The lines meander and fall off here and there in this green cosmos. The station at Graf-Adolf-Platz is in the form of a quartz crystal, agate being a form of the mineral quartz. In agate, crystallisation forms a striped design. Manuel Franke, on the station: "The descent to the tracks correlates to a plunge to the depths of a layer of stone."

Graf-Adolf-Platz Station.  Manuel Franke – Achat
Graf-Adolf-Platz Station Manuel Franke – Achat © Jan Dimog
Graf-Adolf-Platz Station.  Manuel Franke has used hundreds of panels of luminous green glass ...
Graf-Adolf-Platz Station Manuel Franke has used hundreds of panels of luminous green glass ... © Jan Dimog
Graf-Adolf-Platz Station.  ... to create an immersive chromatic environment interrupted only by a powerful flow of lines.
Graf-Adolf-Platz Station ... to create an immersive chromatic environment interrupted only by a powerful flow of lines. © Jan Dimog
Graf-Adolf-Platz Station.  The Continuum of Heike Klussmann and netzwerkarchitekten: The precast concrete wall reliefs that runs through all the stations.
Graf-Adolf-Platz Station The Continuum of Heike Klussmann and netzwerkarchitekten: The precast concrete wall reliefs that runs through all the stations. © Jan Dimog

"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the star ship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."

Star Trek, introductory speech

Benrather Straße Station: Thomas Stricker – Heaven above, heaven below

They fly in boundlessness and are plunged into the depths, they create a pattern and defy categorisation. The embossed designs of the silver shimmering stainless steel panels in the spaceship of this station do (and do not) act as a symbol for over and under, for right and left. The levels and spaces spill over into one another and, in the end, are fixed: a Thomas Stricker universe has been created in the underground. Powerful, oppressive, space-sleek.

Benrather Straße Station.  Thomas Stricker – Heaven above, heaven below
Benrather Straße Station Thomas Stricker – Heaven above, heaven below © Jan Dimog
Benrather Straße Station.  Through a conceptual inversion of the space surrounding the architecture ...
Benrather Straße Station Through a conceptual inversion of the space surrounding the architecture ... © Jan Dimog
Benrather Straße Station.  ... Thomas Stricker gas brought the universe, with its planets and stars ...
Benrather Straße Station ... Thomas Stricker gas brought the universe, with its planets and stars ... © Jan Dimog
Benrather Straße Station.  ... its tranquility and weightllessness into the underground world of the subway station. A stainless steel embossed matrix covers the walls.
Benrather Straße Station ... its tranquility and weightllessness into the underground world of the subway station. A stainless steel embossed matrix covers the walls. © Jan Dimog
Benrather Straße Station.  In cooperation with netzwerkarchitekten, the interior design of a spaceship was developed for the station.
Benrather Straße Station In cooperation with netzwerkarchitekten, the interior design of a spaceship was developed for the station. © Jan Dimog

Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station: Ralf Brög – Three Model Spaces (Drei Modellräume)

They tremble and float, they vibrate and swing through the underground spaces, and the best parts are the irritations and the questions: Are these sounds coming from here? Or am I imagining it? In the Heinrich-Heine-Allee station, the artist Ralf Brög has installed three different sound corridors at the three entrances: “Theatre,” “Laboratory” and “Auditorium.” Three spaces with highly sophisticated sound systems, with visual effects and sound sculptures and materials. Whoever has the answer to the original source of the sounds, finds himself confronted with the next question: Should I continue on my journey, or simply abandon myself to these three sound- and installation-universes?

Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station.  Ralf Brög – Three Model Spaces (Drei Modellräume)
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station Ralf Brög – Three Model Spaces (Drei Modellräume) © Jan Dimog
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station.  Ralf Brög designed the 3 new entrances to the Heinrich Heine Allee station as visual and acoustic venues for the performance of changing sound compositions: as an "Auditorium", a "Theater" and a "Laboratory".
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station Ralf Brög designed the 3 new entrances to the Heinrich Heine Allee station as visual and acoustic venues for the performance of changing sound compositions: as an "Auditorium", a "Theater" and a "Laboratory". © Jan Dimog
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station.  "Theatre" exit
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station "Theatre" exit © Jan Dimog
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station.  Each of the three model spaces boasts a high-quality sound system ...
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station Each of the three model spaces boasts a high-quality sound system ... © Jan Dimog
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station.  ... enabling the most wide-ranging acoustic interventions possible.
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station ... enabling the most wide-ranging acoustic interventions possible. © Jan Dimog
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station.  The wall of the Continuum.
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station The wall of the Continuum. © Jan Dimog
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station.  The Laboratory focuses on the experimental use of tones.
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station The Laboratory focuses on the experimental use of tones. © Jan Dimog
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station.  The Interference Atlas visualizes optical phenomena ...
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station The Interference Atlas visualizes optical phenomena ... © Jan Dimog
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station.  ... while opposite the sound sculptures hang in space.
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station ... while opposite the sound sculptures hang in space. © Jan Dimog
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station.  The high-quality equipment facilitates a unique compositional approach and an equally unique listening experience.
Heinrich-Heine-Allee Station The high-quality equipment facilitates a unique compositional approach and an equally unique listening experience. © Jan Dimog

Schadowerstraße Station: Ursula Damm - Turnstile

They walk or run, they move and are marked as energy points. “They” are passersby, passengers and commuters in the interactive installation Turnstile, by the artist Ursula Damm. The core element is the LED projection screens that are programmed to transmit the movements of people on the surface in real time. Pictures of people become kinetic energies, framed by the geometries of the blue glass walls of the station.

Schadowstraße Station.  Ursula Damm - Turnstile
Schadowstraße Station Ursula Damm - Turnstile © Jan Dimog
Schadowstraße Station.  Ursula Damm has created an interactive installation ...
Schadowstraße Station Ursula Damm has created an interactive installation ... © Jan Dimog
Schadowstraße Station.  ... involving multiple elements. At its centre is a large LED screen displaying ...
Schadowstraße Station ... involving multiple elements. At its centre is a large LED screen displaying ... © Jan Dimog
Schadowstraße Station.  ... the real-time movements of passersby on the city surface. Transformed through a computer program.
Schadowstraße Station ... the real-time movements of passersby on the city surface. Transformed through a computer program. © Jan Dimog
Schadowstraße Station.  The resulting images of small, virtual life forms are created by means of the passersby.
Schadowstraße Station The resulting images of small, virtual life forms are created by means of the passersby. © Jan Dimog
Schadowstraße Station.  The concept recurs in the blue glass of the station's walls.
Schadowstraße Station The concept recurs in the blue glass of the station's walls. © Jan Dimog
Schadowstraße Station.  Geometrically interpreted aerial views of Düsseldorf are presented as a whole or excerpts.
Schadowstraße Station Geometrically interpreted aerial views of Düsseldorf are presented as a whole or excerpts. © Jan Dimog
Schadowstraße Station.  The track level of the station.
Schadowstraße Station The track level of the station. © Jan Dimog

"At Pempelforter Strasse space and image alternate, the flatness of the black and white is made spatial by the overlapping and collision of the bands. As directed superscriptions on public space, the bands simulate pathways that extend absurdly into infinity - or gay, if the idea is continued in spectral terms."

Anja Schürmann, art historian

Pempelforter Straße Station: Heike Klussmann – Surround

They stick through the walls and hang from the ceilings, they are angular, squared off and play with here and there, with here and now. The Pempelforter Straße station, by Heike Klussmann, is a sculpture with sculptures. The artist measured out the station and translated it into a 3D model with graphic banding. She laid white stripes over enameled walls, aluminum ceilings and concrete floors. The floor is black. White bands float through the five station entrances, through all the spaces, overlapping and joining up. A station in which floors, walls and ceilings seem to be woven into one another and which just repeats the idea: here and there, here and now.

Pempelforter Straße Station.  Heike Klussmann – Surround
Pempelforter Straße Station Heike Klussmann – Surround © Jan Dimog
Pempelforter Straße Station.  At this station Heike Klussmann works with the 3D effects of the space's specific geometries.
Pempelforter Straße Station At this station Heike Klussmann works with the 3D effects of the space's specific geometries. © Jan Dimog
Pempelforter Straße Station.  She measured the station and ...
Pempelforter Straße Station She measured the station and ... © Jan Dimog
Pempelforter Straße Station.  ... transposed the measurements onto a 3D model.
Pempelforter Straße Station ... transposed the measurements onto a 3D model. © Jan Dimog
Pempelforter Straße Station.  She took the directions of movement from each entrance, extended them into the station and ...
Pempelforter Straße Station She took the directions of movement from each entrance, extended them into the station and ...
Pempelforter Straße Station.  ... placed four white bands, each with the same measurements as the entrances, as an inverted sculpture over the floor, walls and ceiling.
Pempelforter Straße Station ... placed four white bands, each with the same measurements as the entrances, as an inverted sculpture over the floor, walls and ceiling. © Jan Dimog
Pempelforter Straße Station.  The directions of the edges of the space were recorded so that they could break and process the geometry of the room.
Pempelforter Straße Station The directions of the edges of the space were recorded so that they could break and process the geometry of the room. © Jan Dimog
Pempelforter Straße Station.  The resulting 3D effect with the dimensions of surfaces and spaces is surprising. It seems that the actual boundaries of the subway station have dissolved.
Pempelforter Straße Station The resulting 3D effect with the dimensions of surfaces and spaces is surprising. It seems that the actual boundaries of the subway station have dissolved. © Jan Dimog

"The art does not serve to distract. It turns our awareness back to the very journey on which we find ourselves. Station after station."

Gerrit Gohlke, author and curator
Wehrhahn-Linie.
Wehrhahn-Linie

Wehrhahn Line by Kerber Verlag

The Wehrhahn Line is a length of the underground railway that was communally developed from the beginning, by architects, artists, engineers and the municipal administration in the centre of Düsseldorf. The project has a reputation for cooperative, holistic construction. The substantively and (photo)graphically sophisticated publication illuminates in detail the background of this unusual and exemplary cooperation. This book, with 240 pages, is divided into the chapters “Bau, Kunst, Architektur” (“Building, Art, Architecture”), “Kontinuum / Tunnel” (“Continuum / Tunnel”) and “Schnitt / Stationen” (“Section / Stations”). Even the boldly, delicately engraved cardboard cover illustrates the aspiration that the editors and designers have for the content and graphics. They realize the whole with the possibilities of publicity at the fore: interviews, essays, factual reports in conjunction with architectural photography, drawings and plans. In this way, the book shows the reader the way for future and similarly disposed projects that can develop into such traffic culture platforms, if everything goes as planned and the parties involved do not lose sight of the goal.

"Architecture and art can inextricably combine, such that they respond to each other in a process of cross-fertilization and mutual enhancement. Together, they can influence how we experience space."

netzwerkarchitekten

Von Jan Dimog Autor, Redakteur und (Foto)Journalist, veröffentlicht am .