The enormous Tripla construction project has involved multiple operators. Sweco was in charge of the principal and architectural design and structural engineering for the eastern third of Tripla, the station block, as well as any solutions in terms of city landscape for the entire project with Arkkitehdit Soini & Horto. Additionally, Sweco was in charge of the structural design for the station block. The project has required seamless cooperation from Sweco’s architects and structural designers.
The project is based on the City of Helsinki’s vision of expanding the city centre to the north and making Pasila the most accessible place in Finland. Its location at the intersection of the Kehärata railway with a connection to the airport, the western additional railway and, in the future, the City Rail Loop make Tripla a unique transport hub. In 2025, 130,000 passengers and 900 trains will travel through the station daily.
In terms of urban structure, connecting the eastern and western parts of Pasila was one of the biggest challenges in the project. In its day, Eastern Pasila was built by separating pedestrian traffic from vehicle traffic onto a higher deck level. However, the route did not reach Western Pasila. Tripla now seamlessly connects Pasila’s eastern and western parts. “People can walk through Tripla on many levels”.
According to Sweco’s main designer, architect Pekka Ojalammi, one of the key challenges in Tripla’s architectural design was to observe the human scale and create an enormous building that does not feel overwhelming to the users. The design focused on opening the building up to the viewer in an interesting way, both outside and inside.
A softer and more inviting environment has been created with terraces and the mushroom-shaped columns near the main entrance. The café with mushroom shapes in the middle of the station hall also makes the space feel smaller and softer. To give the impression that the building is smaller than it is, oversized box windows have been used. In order to manifest a Nordic-look, facade slabs were designed with a ceramist, giving the illusion of snow and ice.
Sustainability has also been in focus during the process. The compact shape is energy efficient and the glass facade and box windows increase thermal resistance and decrease the need for cooling. The railway station hall has a green roof, which decreases rainwater and reduces carbon dioxide. The Tripla complex has received a LEED Platinum certification.
Railway traffic, in particular, was challenging to the design since tens of thousands of people were travelling through the site each day. Exceptionally challenging conditions highlighted the importance of excellent designs. Work in the platform areas was carried out during the night in order not to disrupt train traffic.
Tripla is a hybrid project with a large number of stakeholders including the City of Helsinki and many companies. Each party understood that this was an exceptionally challenging project. This shared understanding facilitated good collaboration and solving the many issues to be considered, to be able to deliver the high quality results expected by the client.