Stunning parking house façade at Tallinn Airport

Mar 19, 2019

A parking house was built for more than 1,200 cars at Tallinn Airport in 2018. Sited adjacent to the busy Tartu maantee road, the building forms a stunning face for the entire airport. The building’s façade features Cor-Ten cladding lamellas supplied by Ruukki.

The parking house comprises five buildings, each of which has three floors. Commissioned by Tallinn Airport, AS Tallinn Lennujaam, the building was completed in a year from design to finish. Construction firm KMG Inseneriehituse was responsible for the design and construction of the project.

“There was an obvious need for new parking places. Recent years have seen growing passenger numbers and we didn’t have enough parking places. We’ve now tripled the number of parking places from 400 to 1,200 in this area,” says Margot Holts, communications manager at Tallinn Airport.

Location made appearance important

“Our number one criterion was for a well-functioning building. Since it is also in a visible location, a bit of extra effort was needed to make the building airy, contemporary and attractive,” says Margot Holts.

Not only the customer, but also the City of Tallinn had their own criteria for the building. The building needed to be impressive and serve as a gateway to the city for air travellers.

The parking house has become the face of the entire airport. It is not a rectangular box that dominates the landscape, but blends into its surroundings without stealing the limelight from the airport building itself. One detail worth mentioning is that the angle of the top edges of the cladding lamellas is in keeping with the same steep design landscape of the airport roof.

Soil and constant traffic proved a challenge

Project manager Marko Pikk of KMG Inseneriehituse, who were responsible for the project, said that the foundations were the most challenging phase of the entire project. This was partly because of the location of the building on the limestone soil of the shore of lake Ülemiste and partly because the parking house needed to be built without disrupting airport operations.

The most impressive part of the building, the façade, was not a challenge. The Cor-Ten cladding lamellas were installed on the structures like vertical slats to create an impression of airiness.

“Installation caused no additional challenges or work since everything was carefully planned ahead. Even the impact of soil movement had been taken into account in securing the lamellas,” explains project manager Marko Pikk.

Many contenders

The colour of the Cor-Ten façade met the appearance criteria for the building imposed by both Tallinn Airport and the City of Tallinn.

“Ruukki’s long product warranty and the fact that the façade surface requires no kind of maintenance also helped to clinch the deal in Ruukki’s favour,” says Marko Pikk.

Perforation of the Cor-Ten lamellas adds to the airiness of the façade. The fire authorities also required that half of the incoming air must also leave the building immediately and perforation enabled this requirement to be met. Perforation and the size of the holes were tested together with Ruukki.

Three other companies besides Ruukki were also interested in supplying the façade.

“Many companies wanted to be involved in the project because of the building’s highly visible location. This is also a good showcase for Cor-Ten,” says Marko Pikk.

Result met expectations

Marko Pikk is pleased with Ruukki’s part in the project. Plans were drawn up together, the solution was found together and deliveries were prompt. The new building has been noticed.

“Architects have given favourable comments about the building at the opening ceremony and on visits. It’s also been noticed that concrete and Cor-Ten go well together,” says Marko Pikk.

Judging by comments he has received from the City of Tallinn, they are also pleased with the parking house, which as was intended, has become an air route gateway to the city.

Tallinn Airport is also pleased with the result.

“We’re pleased with the products chosen for the building. They give it an elegant and contemporary look. The parking house has been welcomed and received positive feedback,” notes Margot Holts.

“While the construction project was not easy, it was successfully completed to schedule. Naturally I’m also pleased with the project and the fantastic result,” enthuses project manager Marko Pikk.

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