Helsinki Airport Railway Station
Helsinki West Terminal II by PES-Architects is a new complex on an empty plot of land, interestingly located at the furthest tip of the pier. The volume is aerodynamic and sculptural with all functions under one roof. Every pedestrian passenger passes through the entrance and exit side-by-side. The vehicles, on the other hand, go around the building and under two cantilevered legs to enter the ferries.
The building is shaped like a three-point star pointing towards the city. When proceeding to the escalator leading to the departures level one faces the sea, whereas when one arrives on a ferry the city skyline is visible already from inside the terminal. The importance of the visual connection with the direction of travel has been well understood by the design team. This is noticeable for passengers waiting to board a ferry in the massive high-ceilinged departure hall with a concave panorama window. The spaces are oriented so as to allow passengers to instinctively navigate their way and switch between modes of transportation.
West Terminal II was selected in the Finnish Architecture Biennial Review 2018. Extract from the jury report:
“Seeing over the Gulf of Finland, the connection with the seascape through the window on platform level enhances the perspective. Space-wise the terminal is a rich building. Going one level up from the entrance, the overall shape, and the quality of the terminal experience makes for an interesting journey. It is a completely contemporary interpretation of its typology. A building that succeeds in architecturally enhancing the moments of departure and arrival.”