Parviainen was the runner-up in a competition arranged by Finavia in October and November 2016. The aim of the competition was to generate ideas to improve the customer experience of Helsinki Airport. Five consortiums were invited to take part in the competition. The consortiums consisted of Finavia’s framework agreement partners and their selected design partners. Parviainen entered the competition together with Aivan Oy.

The structure of the idea generation competition was to create a story-like script for the development of the passengers’ travel path in the Non-Schengen terminal area in the spirit of Jean Sibelius.

The idea behind the concept is to define Helsinki Airport not just as an entrance to Finland, but as a gateway to the mythical Pohjola. At the heart of the concept is a promise of an elemental, human and uniquely attractive location. The gate leading to this location is titled appropriately: HEL – Gate of Northland. In addition to the memorable title, the magnificent story is told in all meeting locations. A key objective is to reinforce the emotional experience through which these stories characteristic to Finland and the North are conveyed. This also helps establish the necessary prerequisites for the commercial success of the concept.

Our suggestion focused on the Pohjola’s Daughter symphony by Jean Sibelius and the rugged nature experiences it describes, accompanied by the themes of Nordic Noir. We also standardised the signage of the airport, which is an integral part of the story. We developed the service design of the airport by creating a multi-sensory experience path that begins already before arriving at the airport and facilitates moving from one location to another by means of a mobile application and other solutions. Technology is a key solution that is used in the multi-sensory experience.

Anyone who arrives at the airport is a part of the magnificent and eternal “Story of Pohjola.” The climax of the story can be experienced at the Sibelius plaza, where visitors can marvel at the northern lights of a light art installation at the ice bar. The re-programmable light installation can be transformed into rain drops, floating snow flakes or waving foliage.

Helsinki, 2016
Architecture Design, Interior Architecture

Finavia, invitational competition

Gross Area
75 000m²

In co-operation with
Design Agency Aivan

Head Office

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