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The entrance canopy and ceiling of departures and arrivals building of Helsinki Airport awarded with the Finnish Wood Award

Large airport building with a wooden canopy.

Tuomas Uusheimo

The architectural design of the Helsinki Airport entrance building was carried out by ALA Architects. The award was announced by The Finnish Timber Council Puuinfo on 3.11.2022.

The jury describes the use of wood in the entrance canopy and departure lounge ceiling at Helsinki Airport as skillful. The architecture of the roof is multi-layered and clear, and the atmosphere it creates is uniquely calming even in a hectic environment. The wooden element of the ceiling, which extends out to the canopy, brings a strong natural element to the otherwise steel grey industrial setting.

The winning design of the Finnish Wood Award reflects the shared vision of the various parties involved – designers, builders and client – throughout the project. The architect's solid vision of how the design vision will be realised has played an important role. In terms of implementation, the woodwork supplier's commitment to the project is reflected in the quality and finish of the end result.

The execution and the workmanship of the free-form suspended ceiling is a fine example of how even large-scale projects can be executed with the precision of carpentry. The realisation of a technically very challenging project from vision to reality has been possible by using prefabricated elements. The suspended ceiling structure consists of more than 500 individual elements. Thanks to the uncompromising finish and the uniform surface treatment, the ceiling forms a coherent whole.

Architect Juho Grönholm of ALA Architects acted as main designer of the award-winning building.

Honourable mention for Little Finlandia

The jury awarded the temporary event pavilion, Little Finlandia, with an honourable mention. The building, located in Töölönlahti, Helsinki, was designed by architects Jaakko Torvinen, Elli Wendelin and Havu Järvelä in collaboration with architect and professor Pekka Heikkinen and NRT Architects. Little Finland also won the annual public vote.

Responsible construction and responsibility towards the environment are evident and running themes through the building and the thinking of its designers. Circular economy principles have been implemented throughout the project. The dismantling and portability of the building have been well considered in the design and implementation. Building components and materials are reusable or recyclable. The quality of the construction is high down to the smallest detail, and the combination of different wood products is successful, the jury concludes.