Espoo’s old railway station was built in 1903 according to architect Bruno Granholm’s drawings. Drawings were inspired by the Nordic national romantic architectural style. Building was extended in 1909. The Espoo station operated in its original station building from 1903-1981. The station area changed dramatically in the 1970s and 1980s, when a large office center was completed in a small rural village. Today, the Espoo station operates on a crossing bridge over the tracks, which was originally built on the basis of Olavi Vanninen’s drawings in 1981.
The station bridge, which gave a grim and depressing first impression of the center of Espoo, became the property of VR Group (government-owned railway company in Finland) in 1995. The City of Espoo purchased the station from VR Group in 2008 and began renovation work at the station that cost 6.7 million as part of the Espoo Centre’s development program. Improvements were carried out in 2009-2010. Raising the bridge between Espoontori and the fourth track were preparations for upcoming travel center and the bus terminal.
The glazing and roof of the bridge were renewed in connection with the renovation. At the same time, Mikko Rikala’s artwork Äspe was installed to the corridor floor and ceiling. It consists of quartz sand coating on the floor, depicting the sand of the Espoonjoki river, and backlit roofs with foliage of aspens curving over the river (the origin of the city’s name “Espoo” comes from the old Swedish word äspe, meaning aspen). Today, in addition to VR’s service points, there is also a café on the bridge.
Our task in the station improvement project was to determine possible fire scenarios and to ensure the exit safety of the glass corridor crossing the tracks. Because the solutions designed traditionally on the basis of tables did not provide an adequate level of safety, we solved the task by simulating probable fire situations, and designed functional and safe solutions based on our simulations. The assignment was commissioned by the City of Espoo’s Technical and Environmental Office. Our partner was WSP Finland Oy. The inauguration of the renovated Espoo Bridge was held in May 2010.
Our services in the project
- fire safety engineering
- fire simulation
- implementation phase consulting
- authority negotiations
- consulting for other designers