An urban garden rollercoaster in Helsinki

The British Council has commissioned a rollercoaster urban garden for the Helsinki World Design Capital celebrations.

How the installation will look

It is being created by London based landscape practice Wayward Plants in partnership with Helsinki-based environmental organisation Dodo.

The vaulted structure, made from recycled timber, is inspired by the rollercoaster found at the Linnanmaki Amusement Park, opened in Helsinki for the 1952 Olympics.

Organisers of the project, which has the cavalcaded name Helsinki Plant Tram Urban Garden, say they 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 centerpiece of the UK’s participation.’

An ordinary tram has been commandeered to this end, and named The Plant Tram. Passengers will be encouraged to bring plants back to the site, and map out other potential growing spaces en route, in the hope of strengthening the network of green spaces in Helsinki.

Alongside the evergrowing rollercoaster garden, 20 large mobile planters will provide a ‘mobile orchard’ and seating.

A shipping container will become a tram station, which inside will tell the stories of the participants, and map the journeys plants have made.

At the end of the exhibition the garden will be dismantled, but don’t be sad. It will then be reconfigured by Dodo to ensure it has a permanent legacy. Literally a roller-coaster of emotions.

Meanwhile, looking at the theme Everyday Life, the British Council’s architecture,  design and fashion team will be exhibiting six design icons in Helsinki.

The chosen six are: Margaret Calvert’s Children Crossing road sign; the Plumen lightbulb by Hulger and Sam Wilkinson; Martino Gamper’s stackable Arnold Circus stools; Marion Deuchars’ Let’s make Some Great Art book; Lifesaver Systems’ Nanofiltration Water Flask; and Carlo Volpi’s knitted wool jumper.

Helsinki Plant Tram Urban Garden will be located in Suvilahti, Helsinki, between 6-16 September

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