West Harbour to become the business card of Finland

When a terminal area welcomes up to a million passengers per month through its doors, it is wise to invest in both fluent mobility and high-quality, eye-catching visual look. We are landscaping the West Harbour of Helsinki into a business card for the entire country, combining granite surfaces with stunning greeneries.

Many Finns have been lamenting the unstable and slightly chilly weather this summer. Contracting Manager Antti Kuula from Lemminkäinen, however, sees this in a different light.

“It’s been a great summer for stone paving and landscaping. Usually, hot weather makes work more difficult, but now, the plants have been optimally watered by natural means. It would’ve been a lot of work to organise watering systems on this construction site,” says Kuula in front of the new Terminal 2 in Helsinki’s West Harbour.

We are responsible for the asphalting, stone paving and landscaping project of the new, impressive terminal area. The work started in April, and the eye-catching end result will be finished by the end of September.

“The work was ordered by the City of Helsinki, as they want to invest in quality and visual appeal. That makes sense of course, as millions of passengers travel through this area every year. For many, this is their first impression not only of Helsinki but of the entire country,” says Kuula.

Wide variety of plants

Designed by Ramboll Finland, the area around the terminal entrance is covered with high-quality granite paving and greeneries along the passageways. Instead of the traditional common shrub and transferable lawn, the area was planted with a wide variety of grasses and flowers. Some of the species are rarely seen in public greeneries, and all the plants were selected to withstand even the rougher weather conditions of the area.

The almost non-stop flow of people and traffic in the harbour area has also brought challenges for the construction work. In practice, the area does not become quiet until the last ferry arrives after midnight. For this reason, some of the asphalt work was done during the quiet nighttime hours.

Strong expertise

Lemminkäinen has decades of experience in stone work and environmental construction. The market has picked up alongside other construction, and some of the extensive work sites in Helsinki as well as the West Harbour include Teollisuuskatu and Helsinginkatu.

“Especially in Helsinki the unmistakeable trend has been to select more valuable and visually appealing materials instead of choosing the most affordable slab of concrete or square cobblestone. Developers are also increasingly investing in the overall appearance, which has been a pleasant discovery for me as a native of Helsinki,” says Kuula, who lives just a stone’s throw from the West Harbour.

Rumour has it that the developed area will show the first signs of upcoming splendour this autumn. The greeneries will reach full bloom in a couple of years.  

Landscaping project at the West Terminal

  • Consists of asphalting, landscaping and stone paving work
  • About twenty species planted
  • Rock surfaces mostly of natural granite
  • The project started in April 2017, completed by the end of September 2017
  • About thirty professionals involved in the project