LAHTI – Following substantial renovations in 2006, a historic 1930s-era train station just over 100 km northeast of Helsinki has been updated with a new travel centre to link the bus lines to the rail network. Waiting for the bus in Finland can be quite a lonely activity, but the architects at JKMM hope to have at least made the experience aesthetically enjoyable in this addition.
A 60-m long, sculptured canopy for the intercity busses rests on a bridge deck in front of the old station as the most salient feature of the intervention. Its minimalistic roof alludes to the modest, rectangular plan of the existing structure, while its angular supporting columns and perforated copper cladding convey an elegant futurism. An adjacent elevator tower leading to the lower street level beneath the terminal carries the latter iconography further, comprising a copper-wire mesh shaft inside a glass shell.
The travel centre’s image extends down the sides of the bridge with further copper cladding to the new anodised aluminium lining of the tunnels. The wavy screen conceals both atmospheric lighting and noise reduction mechanisms. Together with the canopy and elevator, the tunnel also serves as a grand portal to the southern part of the city.