'Svampen' – Stockholm, Sweden - Atlas Obscura

'Svampen'

A concrete mushroom that divided Stockholm residents for nearly a century. 

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Art and function don’t always go hand in hand, and when they do, people will often insist on what they consider better and more practical solutions. The ‘Svampen,’ or “Mushroom” is no different. Despite this, it is a beloved landmark to most in the city. 

The ‘Svampen’ is a concrete rain cover designed by Holger Blom in 1937. It was originally constructed as a rain cover and designed to house a small kiosk that was built around the central pole. This made sense at the time, as it was located in the middle of a traffic triangle of an important junction.

However, when the traffic direction switched from left to right in 1967, the place became much less central and the kiosk closed. The structure became forgotten and neglected until it was eventually removed in 1988 to make way for a new road.

However, people did not take kindly to their landmark disappearing and demanded it returned. The city relented and a year later a new mushroom was built, this time without the kiosk. The mushroom has remained ever since and is now an unofficial landmark of the city that can be seen in many movies.

In 2011, the mushroom became part of an illegal ad campaign for the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, when a large diorama was set up on top of it. 

Know Before You Go

The mushroom is freely accessible.

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December 29, 2021

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