malmö central station : sweden
Interiors-wise, Malmö Central Station is about as beautiful as it gets. Designed by Swedish engineer and architect, Adolf Wilhelm Edelsvärd, it first opened in 1856, in what was then considered the outer edge of the city, but an area convenient to Copenhagen-bound ferries, which loaded and unloaded in front of the station building. The building was nearly destroyed in a fire ten years later, on 14 December 1866, eventually re-opening in 1872. In 2000, both local and long-distance trains began running directly to Denmark via the new Öresund Bridge.
In the UK certainly, we’re used to city stations with the usual fare of uninspiring convenience shops and foodplaces. Not in Malmö. The foodcourt is like a smaller version of the vibrant Torvehallerne Food Hall & Market, with a variety of independent outlets, serving freshly made food and drinks, from a range of international cuisines.
We arrived mid-morning so weren’t quite ready for an Indonesian curry – although could have had one if we’d wanted – and so settled for coffess and Danish (or were they Swedish?) pastries, before wandering into a beautiful chandelier bedecked cafe space. It was heaven – aqua blue metro tiles, ornate black pillars, a curved ceiling with metalwork struts holding it all in place and super gorgeous glass skylights. This huge, light, airy space was perfect for elegant potted palms and trailing foliage.
And then, this! Huge pendulous bronze lightshades, pannelled walls, reading lamps, wall storage cubes with books and magazines, plenty of charging points and sockets and a layout which encourages conversation.
How to do a modern railway station – for some people, the introduction to a city – by taking the old and mixing, so brilliantly, with the contemporary. (It’s also, btw, one of the cleanest stations I have ever been in, but I think that’s Scandinavian standards for you).