The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency develops safety at level crossings in an extensive manner, even giving consideration to the appearance of level crossing warning systems in their surroundings and their aesthetic qualities. We do not want the housing units for the systems to draw too much attention, but rather to fit in with the Finnish cultural landscape.
In spring 2018, the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency initiated collaboration with Markku Karjalainen, Assistant Professor of Building Science and part of the Tampere university community (TUNI), on an architecture concept competition for students. The aim of the concept competition was to improve the railway environment with a new design for level crossing warning system housing units. Implemented as part of a compulsory course for advanced architectural students, the project sought new aesthetic solutions for the rail track environment that take into account the special technical requirements for the equipment container of the level crossing warning system.
The competition entries were anonymous, and the jury, which was appointed jointly by TUNI and the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, selected as the competition winners the three entries submitted by architectural students Julia Lahtinen, Tuulia Kivistö and Suvi Perttula.
These concept competition entries were further developed in 2019 into detailed construction plans in 2019 which were then put to tender. Now, in autumn 2020, the first new units have been installed for production use on the railway network.
See what the new housing units look like: