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Helsinki Airport Terminal 2 Expansion

The terminal expansion, mentally linking Finland with the World, comprises two building volumes: “City Hall” and “Security Box”. “City Hall” houses the departure and arrivals halls, and “Security Box” the security check and baggage claim areas. The existing departure and arrival areas of terminal 2 will be fully transformed into gate areas. This solution provides both passengers and services with plenty of additional space. The aim is to simplify the airport structure in such a way that the passenger will recognize both the entrance and the whole process from arriving to the terminal to boarding a plane at a glance. Of the two new volumes “City Hall”, projecting from the overall building volume, will become the new face of the terminal, whereas “Security Box”, even if further back, will be recognizable due to its blue façade coloring.

The imposing new departure hall is a continuous space decked by an undulating wooden ceiling. The ceiling has been built of pre-fabricated spruce-clad glulam elements. Its design has been greatly influenced by the massive plywood wall sculpture “Ultima Thule” that the Finnish government commissioned from Tapio Wirkkala for the Nordic pavilion at the Expo 67 in Montreal.

The design of the terminal expansion emphasizes the equality of the routes of the arriving and departing passengers. The lower level is used by arriving passengers, as well as by those coming to the terminal by bus, train, bike or foot and those coming from the parking facilities. This is why the identity of this level receives as much attention in the design as the departure hall. The large openings on the upper departure hall level visually link the two spaces.

The airport operator Finavia aims at both providing passengers with premium quality services and constantly improving the user experience. The four pillars on which the user experience stands are: smooth processes, a wide selection of services, unique architecture and friendly customer service. In the expansion, the straightforward routes and visual orientation points provide for clarity in the user experience. The blue “Security Box” and the air traffic control tower can be seen already from the main entrance. The overall design aids intuitive orientation.

In addition to this terminal expansion, there is also be plenty of other construction work going on at the airport.

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NAME: Helsinki Airport terminal 2 expansion and modification

TYPE: Invited competition, 2016-2017, 1st prize, followed by a design commission

STATUS: Under construction

LOCATION: Helsinki International Airport, Vantaa, Finland

CLIENT: Finavia

PROGRAM: 42,000 m² of new construction, 35,000 m² of renovations and modifications

TEAM IN IMPLEMENTATION PHASE: ALA partners Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki and Samuli Woolston with Harri Ahokas, Samuel Albert, Ricardo Cruz Recalde, Franziska Dalheimer, David Gallo, Harri Humppi, Mette Kahlos, Lotta Kindberg, Felix Laitinen, Owen Lambert, Franklin Min, Chris Morris, Rachel Murray, Kirsti Paloheimo, Olli Parviainen, Niina Rinkinen, Pauliina Rossi, Jorge Rovira, Heikki Ruoho, Mikael Rupponen, Mirja Sillanpää, Pekka Sivula, Tom Stevens, Haïfa Taboubi, Pekka Tainio, Onni Takkunen, Markku Uimonen, Camila Urrego, Tora Hay Walseng, Huopu Zhang and Erica Österlund

TEAM IN COMPETITION PHASE: ALA partners Juho Grönholm, Antti Nousjoki and Samuli Woolston with Pauliina Rossi, Harri Ahokas, Petri Herrala, Lotta Kindberg, David Gallo, Rachel Murray, Kirsti Paloheimo, Olli Parviainen, Mikael Rupponen, Pekka Sivula and Pekka Tainio

COLLABORATORS: HKP Architects (architect partner: terminal renovation, new parking facility, new entrance to railway station), Ramboll Finland (structural and services engineering, traffic planning), Gravicon (BIM coordination), VIZarch (renderings), Mir (renderings), Brick Visual (renderings)

PHOTOS: Tuomas Uusheimo