Finnish funicular design differs vastly from original concept, drawing social media laughs

A funicular in Turku, Finland (left), recently began test runs, but drew laughs on social media as it differed from the original concept (right).
A funicular in Turku, Finland (left), recently began test runs, but drew laughs on social media as it differed from the original concept (right).PHOTO: TWITTER/@TURKUKAUPUNKI, IDIS DESIGN

It has been likened to a prisoner transportation vehicle, a coal cart, the Popemobile, as well as Darth Vader's helmet.

A city on the south-west coast of Finland recently began test runs for its new funicular, ahead of the official launch in March.

The funicular is meant to bring passengers on a leisurely journey to the top of Kakolanmaki Hill in the city of Turku, according to News Now Finland.

However, the finished product bears little resemblance to the original concept design that was revealed to the public in 2015, said Russian news website RT.com.

The vehicle, designed by Turku-based industrial design studio IDIS Design, was conceptualised as a sleek, angular glass box but turned out to look more like a chunky metal box painted dark grey.

The official Twitter account of Turku city said that the funicular's appearance was meant to fit in with the old prison buildings in the neighbourhood.

Still, this did not stop social media users from poking fun at the design.

Twitter user Kaisa Nyberg edited a picture of the funicular such that it looked like a Hesburger kiosk. Hesburger is a fast-food chain based in Finland with outlets in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Another user Kai Salmi likened the shape of the vehicle to a garbage bin.

User Hans H. Sommarstuga gave a sarcastic caption to a picture of the completed funicular, saying: "The latest in prison tech comes from Turku, Finland: An automatic prisoner transportation car, which can securely hold 15 persons at once. Glasses are bullet proof, shackles can be securely anchored to floor & ceiling, electric shocks can be administered remotely."

The boxy funicular was also compared to the Sandcrawler vehicle from Star Wars, as well as Darth Vader's mask.

The funicular project was supposed to be completed in 2017, and had exceeded the original budget, said Finnish public broadcasting company yle.fi.