Evolving Tampere

This is the city of Tampere, nicknamed Mansesteri after Manchester because it used to be the industrial capital of Finland. The capital of the second largest region after Helsinki, it’s a thriving city, which had just received its new landmark: a huge tower hotel built next to the old railroad roundhouses by the station.

Back then the station area was seeing huge redevelopment. More and more ambitious projects were planned at that time, including a deck above the rails and a huge multi-purpose arena and high rise apartments on top of that. These are now being built, some are ready, but back when I was sipping my overly expensive latte in the tower, they were still on the drawing board. But just by looking at this view I could see four points of interest. Can you spot them?

The first one was almost lost and forgotten by now. Built as a dorm for tech students in the early 1960’s the 10-storey house also housed several restaurants and other businesses. During my visit it was being demolished along with a neighbouring hotel. They would be replaced by a 21-storey skyskraper.

In the following block I found the old goods station of Tampere. It was built in 1907 and listed as an important landmark, but the city had a problem. They wanted to preserve the building, but it was in the wrong place and made traffic in the area pretty difficult.

On the opposite side of the road was Morkku, the old house of railroad workers. It, too, was deemed historically important, but then someone came up with a plan: let’s demolish Morkku, let’s move the goods station in its place across the road and then build the new road. Some people thought this was too expensive, wanted to demolish the goods station and preserve Morkku instead.

This was debated back and forth for years, but finally the goods station won. Morkku was demolished in the Spring of 2020 and the railway statio (or actually the outer walls of it) was moved in the summer. It was the first successfully moved brick building in Finland, and a documentary of the move can be seen here.

The final intersting place was an indifferent yellow wooden house from the 50’s, which was demolished a few months later. I gained access to none of the places, some of which I never saw again.

But although I didn’t explore anything, a new idea came up: why not look up several locations in another town and do a weekend trip there to do some urbexing.

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