Layers of history exist in this tunnel.

Tysta Marigången was built during Norrmalmsregleringen 1950 - 70, the most extensive urban redevelopment in Swedish history.

During the transformation of the inner city of Stockholm, several tunnels were built to facilitate pedestrian traffic. This tunnel connects Tegelbacken with Klara Västra Kyrkogata. It was meant to function as a shopping arcade with large shopping windows on either side. In 1970, the tunnel was named Tysta Marigången. A historical tribute to the cafe Tysta Mari, popular amongst Klara’s journalists, that was located in this neighborhood up until 1964. 

From the very start, however, Tysta Marigången attracted another clientele than intended. It became a place where people sold drugs and sex, as well as a sleeping place for homeless people. Therefore, the subway entrances connected to the tunnel closed immediately after being completed. 

Walking through Tysta Marigången feels like walking through the ruins of the once economically flourishing Stockholm of the 70’s. Big shopping windows gaping empty with half-drawn blinds, left only with dust, a plastic flower, and old commercial signs.

In a way it feels like time has stopped although the place has long been abandoned. Like a breath, a pause, or an escape before a flood of things to come.

These dated walls are now going to be rebuilt. Like stones in a graveyard, where the names of old lovers are overgrown by moss, the stones ground down to create a new slate to be re-engraved with new names.  

The decision to tear down Tysta Marigången was made in 2018 and three years later it is still waiting to vanish. It stands in its own ruins, scattered and solid at the same time. Part of its own ecosystem, like a fallen tree in a forest which gets consumed by larva and turns into soil. But this soil will not turn into apartments, it will reincarnate into the shopping mall it was once meant to be. A new building will rise where the shelter for the homeless used to be.  

What will happen to the leftovers of these ruins? Will the stone be ground into grains, scattered around Stockholm, on sidewalks amongst us, like the fossils in a stone wall of your building?

Will this gravel work as our ”Byggstenar”? The building blocks of the materia in our bodies, as the protein in our cells, the minerals which strengthen our bones and teeth, which enable us to stand, like the reinforcement bars in our houses and the skeletons of our bodies. 

Rebuilt into a new building, the stones still remembering the quiet tunnel of Tysta Marigången. 

Remembering the steps of the high heels echoing.

Remembering the coughing from freezing bodies.

                                                                                                    – Sara Ekholm Eriksson