Tankavaara Gate and Signage

Photo Credit Icon Toni Pallari

Tankavaara Gate and Signage

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Tankavaara Gold Village is the gateway to Lapland’s gold fields, where visitors can learn from gold prospectors how to pan gold. In addition to gold, other attractions of the area are the northern lights, aurora, and hiking in the Urho Kekkonen National Park. A handsome gate was built to attract people from the E75 highway running next to the village.

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    National parks

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    UNESCO sites

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    UNESCO global geoparks

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Architecture and landscape illustration.

How to attract visitors to stop on their way?

Despite its location close to Route E75 running through Europe from the Mediterranean to the Arctic Ocean, the Tankavaara Gold Museum and Nature Centre were not receiving as many visitors as hoped for. A competition for architecture students was arranged to design an attractive gate and signage. Simple recycled poles and lights make a notable landmark to guide people in.

Lighting up the arctic darkness

The Tankavaara Gold Museum is located near the town of Sodankylä. In addition to the museum, the gold village includes restaurants, tourism services and a nature centre, from where many trails lead to the Urho Kekkonen National Park. The Tankavaara gate consists of an installation of recycled poles and lit-up signs to indicate the village. Some of the poles have light hats with rusted pipes as shades to make the gate visible during the dark winter months.

Key facts

  • Location

    Tankavaara, Municipality of Sodankylä, Region of Lapland in Northern Finland

  • GPS points

    N68°10’50.2” E27°05’57.0”

  • Protection Framework

    National park

  • Estimated number of visitors a year


  • Project Owner

    Metsähallitus / the state of Finland

  • Designer

    Architecture student competition in 2013

  • Year of construction


  • Materials

    Reused lighting poles, rusted pipes as light shades

  • Landscape type