The Railway Canyon – Ratakuilu

M.Sc (Arch) Thesis
Tampere University of Technology 2007
Grade:  5 out of 5
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Program: Land use plan and building designs for a former railroad canyon
Scale:  1,3 km of railroad track

Ideas & themes:

  • A safe green connection through the city and between three major public parks
  • An ecological alternative to the car tunnel proposed by the city
  • New ways of living: Ultra compact housing with multi-purpose furniture for nomad people, lofts with lawns for families
  • Hybrid buildings as generators of urban life
  • Adding variety to the housing and service structure of the city.
  • Socially and ecologically sustainable urban planning


In my thesis project I study an abandoned railway track that runs in a man-made canyon through the city of Helsinki, from the Central Railway Station to Ruoholahti bay. In the thesis I analyze the 1,3km span of the railway,  and propose new uses and interventions for the area. I also propose a building design on the central part of the track.

Railway Canyon is an interesting string of urban spaces that runs through surprisingly different parts of the city. By developing the space of the Canyon, the boroughs of Kamppi and Töölö could be conneced functionally. The Canyon also offers a possibility of creating a safe green connection between the recreation areas of Töölönlahti, Hietaniemi and Jätkäsaari.

In my design scheme I take a look at the possibilities provided by such an extraordinary urban space. My project shows that the space of the Canyon can be taken into use in various interesting ways. The Railway Canyon is good grounds for developing new visions about the future of urban housing, leisure and work.

Download the thesis in Finnish: Ratakuilu

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