Architecture has the wonderful property of reinterpretating itself over and over again. The same element can be architecturally described in a number of infinite ways. The Tampere Travel and Service Centre by Cobe and Lundén Architecture is very reminiscent of the work Frank Lloyd Wright has done for the Johnson Wax Building, but the approach is very contemporary and trend forward.
The competitions was launched by the city of Tampere and aimed to bring into the same space a variety of transportation means – including a bus terminal and a railway station – but also to create new spaces for pedestrians, cyclists and existing road users.
The architects have stated that “The vision, “ReConnecting Tampere”, introduces an intermodal transportation hub in the heart of the city as well as a development plan for uniting the city centre. By introducing a diverse urban structure that extends from the east to west across the railyard, the project provides a solid and robust foundation for unifying the two sides of Tampere’s city center once and for all.”
Of course, being a 21st century creation, the building not only plays with conventional aesthetics, but also with conventional functionality. One of the intriguing features the structure offers is the large public plaza situated directly above the railway lines, which is described by the team as an “urban living room”. The access towards the station is placed in the center of the space, consisting in a large circular opening, positioned under the lighted square roof.
Around the 120.000 m2 plaza, there will additionally be buildings with various functionalities: a cinema, shops, houses and office spaces, and also a park.