Finnish airport operator Finavia is set to open the extension of Terminal 2 at Helsinki Airport on December 1, 2021, with a new main entrance, departures hall, arrivals hall and travel center linking passengers to the various modes of transport from the airport.
In the summer of 2022, a new security control and check-in area will also be introduced, along with a new restaurant area. In 2023, alterations to the Schengen gate area and baggage claim hall will be finished and Finavia’s investment program will be complete.
The focal point of the new arrivals hall is the Luoto diorama, an installation intended to celebrate Finnish nature. Passengers arriving at Terminal 2 will exit through the centralized arrivals hall, which will have familiar café and restaurant services suitable for any budget. The popular 24/7 Alepa grocery store, car rental companies and Finavia’s info service will also be transferred there.
The departures hall features a rippled roof and large windows to maximize the amount of natural light. The architectural design of the expanded area was inspired by classical Finnish design, such as Tapio Wirkkala’s Ultima Thule glass designs and the country’s geographical contours. The roof, made in the Finnish town of Raisio, consists of 500 unique cross-laminated timber (CLT) elements that were positioned one at a time.
The multimodal travel center can be reached directly from the new parking hall P1 Premium/P2 and the train station in just a few minutes. The covered bus and taxi stations are right next to the exit of the terminal. Starting December 1, cars and taxis can drive directly in front of the main doors to drop off passengers.
Environmental values and decarbonization were emphasized during the planning stages, resulting in a terminal that is now 30% more energy efficient than officially required. Energy savings have been achieved, for example, through heat recovery and good thermal insulation of the building envelope. Smart lighting will dim and turn off depending on how much natural light comes through the windows. In the new P1 Premium/P2 parking garage, vehicles are charged with solar power.
The eight-year-long investment program is in its final stretch, having contracted 16,600 person-years from the local Finnish economy. Henri Hansson, senior vice president for technology and sustainability at Finavia, said, “The domestic content of the €1bn [US$1.1bn] development program – that is, the share of the total investment taken by contracts with Finnish companies – is about 90%.”
SRV has been the main contractor for the Terminal 2 extension. The new section and the bus and taxi stations have been designed by ALA Architects. The new parking garage and the new connection to the Ring Rail Line were both completed by the architecture firm HKP, which was also responsible for planning the terminal’s alteration work. The engineering company Ramboll was responsible for the technical design.
Hansson added, “We are proud to offer world-class facilities to passengers. Terminal 2 is mostly Finnish high-quality work of which we can be proud. The colors and materials will guide the passenger through the terminal. We have completed numerous solutions to make air travel as easy and natural as possible. Sustainability has also been an important goal throughout the development program. It defines everything we do: planning, construction, cooperation and maintenance. The extension for long-distance traffic has already been awarded an internationally respected BREEAM [Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method] certificate for comprehensive sustainability work.”
Ulla Lettijeff, airport director of Helsinki Airport, said, “The convenient connection to the train station brings the services of Helsinki Airport very close to the residents in the nearby areas. With its restaurants, cafés, grocery stores and pharmacies, the airport will serve them well. The reform strengthens the position Helsinki Airport has as an international transit airport. The airport’s unbeatable advantage lies in its strategic position between Europe and Asia. Improved services and the smooth flow of transit traffic will increase Finland’s competitiveness.”