The Tortoise Passage

The Tortoise Passage is an interactive work of art located in the centre of Turku between Läntinen Pitkäkatu and Ratapihankatu. The passage is built on an old wasteland left between two high-walled buildings. These kinds of wastelands are common, especially on the outskirts of the town. The length of the passage is 43 metres and the width is about three meters.

I started working by making plans and drawings of the passage and introduced them to the residents of the two apartment houses located on the property. An agreement was made to include the residents to work on this project. It was practical to order a bobcat to help in digging the land in order to place the damp proofing and drain pipes properly two meters under ground.

The Tortoise Passage was made by using the black slate stone of Kemiö. The visual image of the passage is formed by using large stones found under ground and minimalist vegetation. The stones have been placed on the passage according to the shape and colour, forming a sculpture like wholeness. I have planted moss on the stones. The passage itself forms a powerful horizontal plane, therefore the high walls of the buildings and the pillar shape junipers balance the image vertically.

The Tortoise Passage was created in cooperation with the residents. Working together as a community should be used more in town planning. The town residents should have more possibilities to create the environment they live in.