Zaha Hadid Architects to design the Ülemiste Rail Baltic terminal in Tallinn

The British architecture firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, working together with Estonia’s Esplan, have been awarded the first place in the design competition for the new terminal of the Rail Baltic railway at Ülemiste, Tallinn.

Rail Baltic is a planned 870 km electrified railway from Tallinn in Estonia to the Lithuanian-Polish border. The terminal will be the starting point of the Rail Baltic line connecting Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius with the European high-speed rail network, Zaha Hadid Architects said in a statement.

The Ülemiste terminal is designed as a connecting public bridge used by the local community as well as multi-modal transport hub for commuters, national and international rail passengers in addition to air travellers using the adjacent Tallinn airport, the company added.

The planned terminal.

Smooth integration of other public transport

“Circulation routes through the building have determined the station’s spatial geometry to aid navigation and the smooth integration of bus, tram and rail lines that intersect at the terminus,” the company noted.

“Incorporating a modular structural system built in phases to enable ongoing operations on the rail lines throughout construction, the station has been designed and planned to BREEAM benchmarks and guidelines.”

The planned terminal.

BREEAM, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, first published by the Building Research Establishment in 1990, is the world’s longest established method of assessing, rating and certifying the sustainability of buildings. More than 250,000 buildings have been BREEAM-certified and over a million are registered for certification – in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Also designing the Tallinn Old City Harbour

Rail Baltic Estonia announced the international design competition for the terminal station in Ülemiste in May 2019. The competition ended on 3 September.

In August 2017, it was announced that Zaha Hadid Architects were to design the Tallinn Old City Harbour. The Port of Tallinn praised the company’s innovative and integrated approach to Tallinn’s maritime gateway. “Zaha Hadid has very skilfully created a balanced connection between urban space and the port area with some carefully considered access roads and traffic solutions,” Valdo Kalm, the chairman of the Port of Tallinn, said in a statement at the time.

The plan for Old City Harbour.

Zaha Hadid Architects is a British international architecture and design firm founded by the Iraqi-British Zaha Hadid (1950-2016), who was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2004), equivalent of the Nobel Prize of architecture. Her firm’s major works include the BMW Central Building in Leipzig, Germany; the Bridge Pavilion in Zaragoza, Spain; the Guangzhou Opera House in China; the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, Scotland, the UK; the London Aquatics Centre in the UK; and the Port Authority Building in Antwerp, Belgium, among many others.

Cover: The planned Ülemiste Rail Baltic terminal. Images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects.

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