Finnish airport operator Finavia has selected ALA Architects’ ‘City Hall’ design as the competition winner for the proposed Terminal 2 (T2) expansion project at Helsinki Airport.
The project is part of a wider €900m (US$1bn) airport development program and will begin with the overhaul of the terminal entrance including a new outdoor plaza, check-in and bag-drop area, and security screening lanes. Construction work is scheduled to begin around summer 2018.
ALA’s design, which includes contributions from Arkkitehtitoimisto HKP and Ramboll Finland, incorporates elements from existing artwork at the airport, such as Tapio Wirkkala’s Ultima Thule sculpture, which is reflected in the wooden roof, and Laila Pullinen’s Aurinko Tunturissa (Sun of the Fells) copper creation, which inspired the wavy steps of the plaza.
Ville Haapasaari, airport director, Finavia, said, “Over the years, Helsinki Airport has been built piece by piece, and the different sections of the terminal represent design and architecture from different decades. City Hall combines all of these into one impressive entity that creates a smooth passenger path from the terminal doors all the way to the airplane seat.”
Juho Grönholm, partner at ALA Architects, said, “Typographically speaking, airports are among the few new buildings of the modern era. Passengers flow through them in a controlled manner and their operations are process-like, but their look and atmosphere are always significant. The airport is a starting point for adventures and a place that wishes passengers welcome. And we haven’t forgotten about beauty and romance in the design of City Hall, either.”
Scheduled for completion in 2020, Finavia’s overall development program will expand T2 by more than 1,000,000ft², enabling the airport to handle up to 20 million passengers annually. It will also double the number of gates for wide-body aircraft from eight to 16 and increase the airport’s baggage handling capacity by 50%.