The largest-ever expansion and development project in the history of Helsinki Airport is underway, and Koskisen plays a role in it. Koskisen perforated plywood concept brings Finnish nature to Helsinki Airport. PES-Architects Ltd. is responsible for the expansion. Kai Lindvall, who is behind the furnishing design, explains that they wanted the same kind of Finnish technical veneer as in the South Terminal for the West Terminal. The overarching theme of the new terminal is Finland’s nature and forests which, according to Lindvall who is charge of interior materials and solutions, was approached from a number of angles in order to create an immersive experience for passengers.
PES-Architects Ltd. is responsible for the expansion. Kai Lindvall, who is behind the furnishing design, explains that they wanted the same kind of Finnish technical veneer as in the South Terminal for the West Terminal. The overarching theme of the new terminal is Finland’s nature and forests which, according to Lindvall who is charge of interior materials and solutions, was approached from a number of angles in order to create an immersive experience for passengers.
“We wished to highlight Finnish nature in a number of ways. The culmination point is the Plaza, which features a 75-metre-long screen. It shows Finnish landscapes in all four seasons. It includes gorgeous light and sound effects, including specialized lighting and sound triggers such as the crunch of snow under shoes,” explains Lindvall.
Alongside this feature, Lindvall says that they sought a softer element. “Finavia wanted us to use Finnish raw materials. Wood is one Finnish basic material,” says Lindvall. “We ended up using through-coloured birch veneer, which represents more processed Finnish technical veneer, in the West Terminal.”
Koskisen had the solution. Tatiana Meyer, who works in the R&D team as Decorative Project Manager, offered perforated birch panels for the terminal. “These panels have so much potential. They are equally suited to creating an ambience and for improving acoustics,” she explains. Meyer’s job includes finding solutions for different interior design projects. Helping Meyer in this project was Riitta Ahokas, who worked closely in the technical customer services for the interior design projects. They selected the photos of Lassi Rautiainen, an award-winning nature photographer. They create a unique ambience in the terminal.
Meyer says that she began work on the idea already in 2017. “I tested Lassi’s photos on the perforated birch panels just to see if Finnish nature can be interpreted on Koskisen’s plywood panels. I showed Kai the end result and after the presentation he and Tuomas Silvennoinen, the head architect, decided to use this idea of Finnish animals in a Finnish forest, just like on Finnish passports. Finavia also liked the concept,” Meyer recalls.
Koskisen’s solution was tested, a plan was made, and a test run carried out. “We selected photos and animal motives together and worked on the theme. Koskisen made models that looked into the depth and intensity of the drilling, for example. On a black panel, for instance, the contrast is strong, while on a lighter one, the effect is achieved using shadow and resin adhesive,” says Lindvall. Together they solved logistical issues as all of the veneer panels needed to be of uniform colour.
Rautiainen says that he is proud to have his photos represent Finland and a Finnish company. “Nature is an important element of life. I hope people enjoy the new terminal,” he says.
The end result can now be viewed in the recently opened West Terminal. As a designer, Lindvall is happy with the results. “We have made sure that passengers enjoy the airport. The end result is high in quality, gorgeous and as Finnish as possible. Koskisen’s solution works perfectly in our concept and it was implemented exactly as we hoped. Our collaboration was also successful.” Meyer from Koskisen agrees: “We successfully combined different professionals – manufacturer, architect and photographer – and what resulted is beautiful.”