11 September 2012
by Pete Collard
Created by London-based Wayward Plants in partnership with Dodo, Helsinki Plant Tram Urban Garden is a participatory project that includes a tram and an imaginative urban garden. The tram will perambulate the city’s transport network picking up passengers who will be invited to donate plants. These plants will then be used to create an ever-evolving garden that will form the centrepiece of the UK’s participation.
The Plant Tram will take passengers on a journey to celebrate urban growing in Helsinki. In partnership with Culture Tram, a mobile exhibition and performance platform, passengers will be encouraged to map out potential growing spaces en route, strengthening the network of green spaces in Helsinki.
The Plant Tram Urban Garden is envisaged as a “magical tram journey,” and will consist of a rollercoaster structure that will weave through the site like flying tram tracks. The design is inspired by the iconic wooden roller coaster found at the Linnanmäki Amusement Park that was opened in Helsinki for the 1952 Olympics. It will be built using timber recycled from the Wastelands XXXII European Students Assembly, which takes place at the Suvilahti site a few weeks prior to the construction of the garden.
Alongside the large structure, twenty large mobile planters will provide seating and fruit tree planting, for a mobile orchard. A shipping container will also be converted into a temporary 'tram station' next to the garden; filled with maps detailing the journeys that the plants have travelled and documenting the projects participants. The garden will be located alongside the Everyday Discoveries exhibition, which is the culmination of Helsinki World Design capital and features design from 26 countries. Following the exhibition, the garden will be reconfigured by Dodo as a permanent urban garden thereby creating a lasting legacy for the project.
British Council Project