Tire Gorilla – Helsinki, Finland - Atlas Obscura
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Helsinki, Finland

Tire Gorilla

A giant gorilla made of used car tires used to sit sentinel over a Helsinki college campus. 

Sorry, Tire Gorilla is permanently closed.

Sitting with the serene posture of a zen master on the campus of Helsinki University’s Viikki campus is one of the more unique animals to ever grace a university quad: a massive gorilla figure made entirely of automobile tires known as, Everything is Possible.

The huge piece of art is the work of Finnish artist Villu Jaanisoo who won a national invitational contest. Made out of rubber tires that were bent and shaped to form the colossal beast, the ape’s pose is more calm than menacing, even with the similarities to King Kong. From top to bottom, the creature is almost 17 feet tall. Students and visitors often climb up into the gorilla’s arms, looking about the size of an infant in comparison.

Helsinki University’s Viikki campus is known as the life sciences center for the college, focusing on the school’s biology, agriculture, and veterinary programs. Nicknamed the “Green Campus,” the gorilla-shaped tire pile might seem like a strange fit for the space, but the statue represents not only the diversity of life, but also the a focus on environmentalism and reuse. While these connotations may be foremost in the minds of the students that wander past the work each day, for many Everything is Possible simply represents the strange wonder of a world where a giant gorilla made of tires can exist.       

Update: On January 10th 2018 the Tire Gorilla was set ablaze and destroyed.

Know Before You Go

Located in Viikinkaari street, behind Viikin tiedepuisto bus stop.