Helsinki’s glass-and-wood West Terminal 2
Since February 2017, the express ferry connection between Helsinki and Tallinn has been grander than ever before. Why? One, because the Tallink shipping company has put a new and larger ferry on the route. Two, the road to the new ship leads through a brand new terminal building! PES Architects was hired to create a comfortable space that allowed travelers to move quickly through the terminal.
The terminal’s plan focused primarily on the design of movement routes, the result of which meant that passengers would no longer need to walk down long corridors to embark or disembark. The terminal’s waiting lounge is right on the quays, with wings that reach to the side of the vessels, bringing corridor length down to a minimum.
Equally important, though, is the environment in which people move from one area to another. The terminal halls are bright, comfortable, and safe. When choosing materials, the architects made no concessions, and decided to ensure the charm of the building throughout its lifespan. Thermory is proud that the characteristic wooden ceiling elements were created using our own thermally modified pine.
The waiting area is a spacious yet welcoming space with effective ceiling boards that add essential warmth and wood’s natural authenticity to the large space. The glass wall, which stretches from one side of the room to the other, provides different views of the sea each day. Where the extensive use of timber inspires warm emotions in the interior, the façade evokes modernity with its blend of glass, concrete, and the aluminum used in shipbuilding. All of this together creates a modern atmosphere for passengers travelling both by car and on foot—for the modern person who appreciates comfort and beauty all around them.
Architect: PES Architects
Client: Port of Helsinki
Project area: 12 900 m²
Approximately 6–7 million passengers travel on the Tallinn–Helsinki route each year.
According to the Port of Helsinki, the West Terminal 2 project is one of their largest investments of the decade.
Both the Port and the architects were pleased to see that the project was completed under budget and before the deadline—the grand opening was on February 27, 2017.