TOBIAS HOFSÄSS

Slussen

The Slussen area is the hub of public transport in Stockholm, Sweden, linking together a metro station, commuter rail line, bus terminal, ferry harbour, and a complex cloverleaf-shaped road interchange and associated pedestrian passages and walkways. The name comes from the word “sluss”, which means canal lock as the area Slussen sits exactly where there are locks linking Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea. The history of the development of the channel at Slussen date back to the 1600’s and have evolved into an ongoing political debate of reconstruction needs since the early 1970s. The controversy is about whether Slussen is a unique historic example of traffic engineering that should be preserved or a public transport area that has seen its time and desperately needs to be modernized and rebuilt. In May 2009 the city of Stockholm announced a new master plan for the Slussen area. Since then, nothing has happened and the old Slussen still exists while its structure continues to deteriorate. This ongoing debate and the Slussen area itself fascinated me and I started to participate in the discussion by trying to preserve and document the area as it is today with my pictures.

“Change is inevitable, change is part of history and with any radical change to a place you lose a part of its life and identity.

This is my experience having lived most of my life in Berlin, a city of change. I am absorbed in the history and politics of city life but more than this I am fascinated by the physical places themselves: the shapes, the lights, the colours, the smells, the sounds, the feeling of the pulse of a city and the motions around it. At Slussen, I feel this movement.

Everything connects in Slussen. People pouring through the tunnels like water, being pushed up or down to the next level. I let myself float around and found emptiness that I did not expect. It let me see a special world beneath, a construction with all its colors and shapes. It is filled with voices and motions that you feel and hear even when there is no one around.

Some love Slussen some hate it, but everybody has a story to tell of this place. This is my story.”                   Tobias Hofsäss