Port of Helsinki, West Terminal 2

Helsinki’s new ferry terminal was designed to meet the needs of the growing Helsinki-Tallinn sea traffic.

This major project aimed to combine functionality with high-level architecture and design to create a modern, radiant hub for millions of international passengers.

The departure lounge is an open, hangar-like space with glass walls 15 meters high that offer brilliant views of the seas and docking ferries. With 6-7 million passengers traveling through each year, efficiency and durability were significant concerns, and the reflection of the sun off the sea through the windows created a need for glare-reducing design and material.

Thin slats of Thermory Benchmark Pine were chosen to complete the curved, sloping ceiling, up to nine meters high in some areas. The slopes of the ceiling serve to help direct passenger traffic, and the high Solar Reflectivity Index help to significantly reduce glare within the large open area, and perfectly highlights the award-winning lighting to make this a modern, stunning international hub.

This is not a project that can afford to be redone every ten years. The port is expected to last a century, and the materials used need to age with it. Thermory products have a wonderfully unique color evolution, ensuring they get more beautiful and elegant with time.

The first known example of thermally modified wood comes from the Vikings, who needed boats that could withstand corrosion from saltwater. Inspired homage, then, to use a radiant expanse of thermally-modified wood at a Finnish ferry port.

AWARDS: nominated for the World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2017 Awards in the Transport – Completed Buildings category. It was also the recipient of the Finnish Lighting Award in 2017.

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