Parking in the rock: Finland's spectacular underground car park project

- Tampere, Finland

What do you do when you urgently need a large number of parking spaces in the middle of a major city, but there is no space available? Right! You go under ground. That was what they thought in Tampere, Finland's third largest city, back in 2007 when they started looking for concepts for the future.

The new car park was to be located directly under the central main road in the immediate vicinity of the shopping malls and office buildings. For that they had to go well under ground – and into the hardest rock. A model project that was to cause a sensation worldwide was born. Its name: P-HÄMPPI.

A 650 metre long, 32 metre wide and 10 metre high tunnel with space for almost a thousand vehicles – and for much, much more – was dug in the rock 30 metres under the city. Involved in the project right from the beginning: Finnpark, DESIGNA's Finnish partner. The project planning phase alone took more than eighteen months, because in addition to the already huge engineering and technical challenges, the new underground car park was also expected to set standards in service experience. In all the considerations, the focus at all times was on the customer's point of view and on the desire to provide a smooth and pleasant overall parking experience. That starts with the pre-booking that particularly here offers a real bonus: In dedicated lanes, the driver is guided directly and with no loss of time to the parking spot reserved in advance. It continues with licence plate recognition that not only boosts safety and security, but is also integrated seamlessly into the service concept: On the omnipresent info screens, visitors can check the location of their vehicle as soon as they have identified themselves with their ticket. And it goes far beyond the total of 10 employees who are there to constantly take care of the guests' needs.

Designa - Finnpark underground parking garage

"We offer an excellent new generation parking service for the people who live and work in Tampere or who just want to visit the town centre," says Markku Hiltunen, Managing Director of Finnpark. "We achieve that through permanent availability, safety and comfort." A concept that is proving to be a success and which is just one example of the future of parking management. And P-HÄMPPI is only the first of several phases in the major PARKISTO project that will make Tampere a model city for advanced customer service by 2030. We are proud to be able to make a major contribution to this project with our ABACUS technology.


In 1951 DESIGNA became Germany's first producer and supplier of parking meters. DESIGNA's history of innovation continued. At the end of the seventies, the Kiel-based enterprise was able to to introduce its first fully automatic parking system. The company's programme has now been further developed to encompass fully comprehensive solutions, from the design and planning phase right through to the installation and service of fully automatic parking systems. The experience DESIGNA has acquired over the last 50 years continues to benefit customers at every stage of the project.


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