In collaboration with Estonia’s Esplan office, Zaha Hadid Architects have prevailed in the competition to design the new station for Rail Baltic in Tallinn. In the context of an 870-km railway extending to the Lithuanian-Polish border, the planned terminal will represent the starting point for the Rail Baltic Line connecting Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius with the European high-speed rail network.
The winning design, conceived according to BREEAM guidelines, developed from the idea of a public connecting bridge for Tallinn’s residents. Because the Tallinn airport is nearby, a link for railway and air travellers also took centre stage. These factors led to the creation of what Taavi Aas, Estonia’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, describes as a “multimodal traffic hub…with rail, bus and air traffic coming together there in the future”.
In order to facilitate the coherent integration of all the bus, tram and railway lines that cross at the terminal, circulation paths through the building will determine the spatial geometry of the station. A modular supporting structure built in phases will ensure that railway operations continue during the entire construction period.