The Ratina shopping centre will be part of a significant cultural environment that reflects the urban development of Tampere in various ways. The northwestern side of the Ratina shopping centre is lined by Ratina Bay, where the Tammerkoski rapids flow into Lake Pyhäjärvi. Tampere Stadium is to the west and the bus station is to the east.
The Ratina area, also known as the Ratinanniemi headland, was originally a high sandy ridge that was part of the continuous Pyynikki-Kalevankangas esker. In the late 1800s Ratina, or District XIII as it was once known, was almost completely uninhabited. The area was home to a handful of dwellings and a few companies, such as a glass factory, an engineering works and Tampere’s first dairy.
In the early 1900s, there were plans to establish the City of Tampere’s new administrative centre in Ratina, but the plans fell through. Instead, the area began to be used for sand extraction. The ridge became lower year by year and, by the end of the 1920s, a large sandpit had been formed in Ratina. The area was then considered unsuitable for residential use, and the idea to build a stadium there was put forward. However, it took several decades for that plan to materialise.
In winter 1936, a municipal skating rink was located in Ratina. Two years later, in 1938, the Tampere Bus Station was completed in Ratina, at the location where it still stands today. The architecture of the bus station represents the practical Functionalist style that was typical of the period.
Around the same time, an entire block of Functionalist buildings was constructed next to the bus station. Over the years, two of the buildings became known to local residents as the Autotuonti building and the Vuoltsu building. In 2018, the two buildings will be revived as part of the Ratina shopping centre and they will be known as Ranta-Ratina and Funkkis-Ratina.
The Ratina district continued to develop in the early decades of the 1900s. The district was becoming increasingly lively and it was gripped by Olympic fever when football matches were played there as part of the 1952 Summer Olympics. The current Tampere Stadium was completed in 1966 after several stages of planning and construction.
The Ratina district changed significantly at the beginning of the 2000s when two blocks were zoned for residential, retail and office use on the southern shore of Ratina. The residential buildings in Ratinanranta were mostly completed between 2009 and 2012. On 19 April 2018, the Ratina district will be complemented by Tampere’s most modern shopping centre.