Accessibility To Public Place: Helsinki Railway Station

4141 words - 17 pages

HALİL YILDIRIM
12.01.2012
014001231

REPORT: HELSINKI RAILWAY STATION
Before start to introduce my report, it’s useful to define some important terms like public and private space. Public spaces are defined generally common areas where everyone easily access without any restriction. In other words, public space can be defined (…)in the sense of non-claimable’7 In order to keep spaces safe or keeping authority on those spaces, accessibility to public spaces usually is liable to some restrictions and regulations. In that point, public spaces are more public for some people, while they are less public to others. That can lead to the emergence of ‘moral geographies’ or ‘the idea that ...view middle of the document...

The station buildings- the old and the current- as well as the adjacent square were ‘(…) built close to the shallow, boggy bay, Kluuvinlahti, and piles were driven into bay itself so that this could be converted into an open square. (Klinge and Kolbe 1999 p 63) 3 The buildings that framed the Railway Square ( Rautatientori) were built purposefully grand and more important –looking, suitable to an environment that oozed power, national identity and pride. The station, austere and monumental, was the quintessence of Helsinki, capital of the sovereign Finnish state. 4 That’s to say, Helsinki Railway Station is a symbol of Finland and its history starts at the same era of Finland sovereignty. For years, Station serves Finnish citizens.
To continue with functionality of Helsinki Railway station, it can be easily said that it serves more than one function. Station is used as a railway station, meeting point and also providing some services to people via shops like restaurant, kioski, flower shop, tourist information, exchange money shop, bank and pubs. Railway Station generally used with different reasons. Station is basically a transportation hub. Therefore the primary aim for the board of directors is to secure the easy and safe handling of the mobility of people and products. The management of the station in an effort to recognize and in a way show respect to the social character of the building, offers the West Hall as exhibition and events place for the public. In this way this part of the station is not strictly monofunctional. This is not simply a place of flux where people and goods are mobile. It’s not so much a place of commerce as shopping activity is at a minimum compared with other areas of the station. 6 As mentioned above, other parts of Railway station has also a commercial character. This is a building of Finnish national heritage and protected as such; in addition, it is a high value marketable commodity; especially after the station building came under the responsibility of the real estate management of the Finnish Railways Group of Companies. The Finnish Railways were a revised type of public enterprise before 1994 when they are turned into a corporation, in order to increase competitiveness in the transportation market.6 It’s possible to see that station building is a place where a several meters-long banner of Tourism Company advertisement. Like Michael Galanakis pointed out even if railway station’s function is looking basically transportation, when we take a look its functionality is more likely a merchandise space.
Picture.1: There is a big billboard for advertisement and some tourists are waiting their train
Because of its merchandise character, as mentioned before, place have different kind of services and shops. That’s also reason of place has more than one schedule. There are different kinds of schedule for Railway Station. ‘On the main entrance doors to the station and the Central Hall there is a small blue sign...

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