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The Helsinki Airport is an international gateway to Helsinki and to the greater Uusimaa region with a rich history steeped in architectural innovation and design excellence. The extension of the airport, with its distinctive wooden ceiling structure, bears testament to the region's commitment to innovation. The airport reflects architectural competence but also signifies the growing importance of seamless connectivity to the Finnish capital, bridging the realms of aesthetics, safety, and convenience in international air travel.

The Helsinki Airport Extension in Helsinki spans 43,000 square meters of departure and arrival buildings and is well-defined by its wooden ceiling structure. The project required bespoke fire testing, performance-based design, and code consultancy for the acceptance of the proposed general concept, such as the use of prefabricated timber in the interior and ceiling.

Since the development was part of a 24/7-operated international airport, we had to solve some unique challenges. Any fire testing had to be done without disrupting any regular operation in the airport. This was one of the first projects in the city of Vantaa using performance-based design methods from a recently renewed fire code which gave this project a unique design process. The area of the fire compartment was beyond the threshold set by prescriptive code, and the hidden structure within the ceiling enabled an open-plan interior with a massive entrance canopy. We had to find solutions that were equally as safe as the prescriptive demand and met both architectural and client demands for this large open space.

Jensen Hughes's team of experts was involved in the Terminal 2 expansion, working closely with the architects and clients to meet their demands and expectations. Our team was involved in the construction of the new terminal building, which served as a check-in and arrival point for passengers on their flights. The new development included a timber-suspended ceiling where the team conducted fire tests to ensure that the proposed structure would be safe if exposed to fire. During the construction phase, our focus was on ensuring continuity in design and implementing robust fire safety measures. As part of the performance-based design, we conducted fire and evacuation simulations as well as risk analyses to evaluate the potential property damage and make sure we would be able to contain and limit the consequences in the event of a fire.

Our team of experts was able to satisfy the needs of the architect and client while meeting the new regulations. Our familiarity with the new fire codes made the process easy for the client, the architects, and AHJ. Helsinki Airport was one of the first buildings in Vantaa with performance-based design methods according to the renewed fire code. Our efforts resulted in a seamless process, and we submitted the permit on schedule. Overall, our ability to provide expert solutions and timely delivery helped solidify a great and long-lasting relationship with our client.

Afterward, Helsinki Airport was awarded numerous acknowledgments, including Construction Site of the Year, European Steel Design Award 2023, Tekla BIM Award 2022 main award, and Airport Council International’s Best Airport in Europe 2023.

Project Details


Finavia - Helsinki Airport

Project Location

Vantaa, Finland

Project Size





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