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The octopus that could save Slussen

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The octopus that could save Slussen
Photo: Manipulation by Per Gantelius
11:42 CEST+02:00
In the face of controversial redevelopment, an engineer has made waves in Sweden's social media after he said Stockholm's Slussen traffic junction can be saved - by becoming an octopus.

The renovation of Slussen in Stockholm has long been a hot-topic, an architectural feud where plebes and politicians alike ferociously take sides and stick to them, releasing never-ending opinion articles and persuasive videos in attempts to sway their opponents.

Sweden's Environmental Court approved the redevelopment plans in September last year, setting Slussen's future in stone-to-be, but that didn't stop arduous debates about the junction's fate. 

But one man has an even better solution. And it involves an octopus. 

'Slussen Plan C' is an "elegant light steel construction" which would finally give Stockholmers the Slussen they deserve - if it weren't just a farce. 

"It's not really a serious suggestion," Plan C designer Per Gantelius told The Local with a chuckle. "But it's also more than a joke. It's an image which can evoke feelings."

And evoke feelings it did. The Slussen squid went viral, reaching its tentacles across Swedish social media and into the brains and hearts of Slussen friends and foes everywhere. Much to the designer's delight.

Plan C Slussen
Gantelius' design utilizes the current four-leaf clover structure - but makes it more aquatic.

Gantelius likes to call himself Stuffmatic, a code-name of sorts that he uses when he "creates stuff for money and for fun". An engineer who dabbles in 3D modelling and animation, the 34-year-old has come up with more than a few abstract ideas about Stockholm. But there's not a whole lot to back them up.

"There was no deep thought behind the octopus, just random inspiration," Gantelious remarked.

"I don't have many opinions about the other suggestions for Slussen. But Plan C seems to make people happier than the others. So that's a good thing."  

The theoretical construction would have heated pathways to help frozen Stockholmers get from one part of Slussen to another. And of course there would be plenty of windows. The old historical structure of Slussen would also be preserved in Plan C - just "discretely embraced" by steel. 

Though Gantelius admitted the old structure's preservation was less by design than convenience.

"To be honest, you're pretty limited in Photoshop," he said. "It's easiest just to put things on top of each other."

Located on the central Stockholm island of Södermalm facing Gamla Stan, the Slussen junction has existed in its current four-leaf clover form since 1935. Hailed as a genius traffic solution of the time, the junction was the first of its kind in Europe. A traffic carousel of sorts, Slussen was praised for its beautiful lines, smooth tile walls, and convenient walkways lined with shop space. But in 2013 politicians decided it was outdated, ineffective, and more of an eyesore than a masterpiece.

Gantelius created the image of his design using 3D modelling software and photos he took from Katarinahissen in Stockholm. See more of his design here

Solveig Rundquist
Follow Solveig on Twitter.

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