Länsimetro’s CEO will change

Ville Saksi will step down from his role of CEO at Länsimetro to join another company in January 2024. Saksi will continue to assume the duties of CEO until the end of 2023. CFO Matias Johansson is appointed as acting of CEO from 1 January 2024 until the board appoints a permanent CEO. Länsimetro immediately initiated the process of recruiting a successor for Saksi.

“I warmly thank Ville for his work as Länsimetro’s CEO and the excellent implementation of the second phase of the West Metro project. The project was completed in line with the set targets. Construction ended in 2022 and the project was EUR 100 million under budget. After the completion of the construction work, Saksi has successfully steered the focus of Länsimetro Oy’s operations from construction to owning the metro infrastructure,” says Olli Isotalo, Chair of Länsimetro’s Board of Directors.

“It has been great to be part of Finland’s largest infrastructure, HVAC and electricity and automation project and hold the position of Länsimetro’s CEO. This position has offered me a unique vantage point and the chance to work with outstanding professionals,” Saksi says.

Further information
Olli Isotalo, tel. 050 593 3359

Kivenlahti’s Park & Ride facility is complete and will open to the public on Saturday 1 April 2023

The parking facility was part of Länsimetro’s Matinkylä–Kivenlahti construction project, in which a 7 km rail section, 5 metro stations and an underground metro depot were built.

The Kivenlahti Park & Ride facility is located at the metro line’s western terminal in Kivenlahti. Users of the Park & Ride and metro commuters will enjoy even more convenience once Kivenlahti’s western entrance is opened to the public. Photo: M. Partanen.

The Kivenlahti Park & Ride facility has been completed and will open to the public on Saturday 1 April 2023. The facility is located at Kiviruukinkatu 2, in Kivenlahti, Espoo. The Park & Ride facility has 650 parking spaces, and 22 charging stations for electric cars. Solar panels installed on the roof of the building will generate electricity for the facility’s own consumption. The peak output will be 100 kWp. Construction of the Kivenlahti Park & Ride facility began in November 2021 and was carried out by Fira Oy.

Operated by EuroPark Finland Oy, the parking facility will be open 24/7. The cost of parking in the facility will be €2/12 hours, and €1 for each additional hour. More information on how parking fees are paid can be found on the info boards at the facility and on HSL’s website as of the opening day. HSL’s website also contains information on the locations, number of parking spots, prices and opening hours of all the Park & Ride areas. The payment methods of the different parking areas vary.

The Kivenlahti area is developing at the metro station’s west end

Users of the Park & Ride and metro commuters will enjoy even more convenience once Kivenlahti’s western entrance is opened to the public. Commuters currently access the Kivenlahti metro station from the entrance at Kivenlahdentori. So far, there are 98 parking spots close to the entrance. The metro station’s second entrance will be opened once construction in the area around the entrance is completed.

“New housing is being built in the area around the Kivenlahti metro station, and the area is becoming denser. A new business centre that will also house the Laurea University of Applied Sciences will be built on the new street Höyrylaivantie, which runs parallel to Länsiväylä. Kivenlahti metro station’s second entrance will be connected to the future business centre. The goal is for the business centre to be completed in autumn 2025, but a more accurate schedule can be expected once the contractual arrangements concerning moving the parking locations in the area are finalised,” says Project Director Hilkka Julkunen of the City of Espoo.

Read more about the evolving Kivenlahti area on the City of Espoo’s article: “Metro to bring new residents, jobs, services and educational institutions to Kivenlahti – Kiviruukki to grow into a unique bio- and circular economy innovation cluster”.

Kiinteistö Oy Kivenlahden liityntäpysäköinti is one of Länsimetro Oy’s subsidiaries. The owner’s task is to arrange the operation of the Park & Ride facility, and maintain and develop the parking facilities to better serve users.

Länsimetro’s Matinkylä–Kivenlahti project comes in EUR 100 million under budget

Commuter traffic on the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section started in December 2022.

The final cost estimate for the construction of the second phase of the West Metro project, i.e. the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section, is EUR 1,042–1,050 million. The forecast is approximately EUR 100 million, i.e. 9%, less than the estimated cost (EUR 1,159 €M) in the project plan that was updated in 2018. In addition, the project’s financing costs were less than half the amount estimated in the project plan, and these savings will also largely be reflected in the metro’s future annual financing costs.

–The most significant reasons behind the project being completed according to the set targets were reliable cost data obtained from the Ruoholahti–Matinkylä project, strictly controlling the overall project and experienced professionals. The situation management model, a.k.a. war room concept, was an important tool for putting the organisation’s competence and knowledge into use. Cost targets cannot be reached if the targets set for the project’s scope, quality and schedule are not achieved. Successful projects are always the result of successful teamwork, stresses Länsimetro Oy’s CFO Matias Johansson.

The project plan that was drawn up in 2012 for the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section was adjusted and supplemented in 2018, after the completion of the first phase of the West Metro project, i.e. the Ruoholahti–Matinkylä section. Commuter traffic on the first phase began in November 2017. As the outcome of the first phase, up-to-date information was obtained on the technical requirements and actual costs of building the underground metro, and this information was applied in the second phase of the project. In connection with the updated project plan, the cost estimate increased from EUR 801 million to EUR 1 159 million. The main reasons for the cost adjustments included a change in the surface areas of the stations, adjusted construction costs, a change in how the Espoonlahti bus terminal would be implemented, networking of the stations, extension of the Kivenlahti turnaround track, the addition of a firefighting shaft in Finnoo, reinforcing of the client organisation and schedule changes.

Commuter traffic on the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section started in December

When the project plan was updated, the schedule was also adjusted: the target was set for the project to be completed in 2023. The Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section was opened to the public earlier than planned, on 3 December 2022. The construction contracts for the stations and the rail line wrapped up in May 2022, after which the test runs continued until September.

– Completion of the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti project in accordance with the set cost and schedule targets was possible thanks to the project’s effective operating methods and close co-operation, not to mention the project organisation’s strong competence and experience. The project’s organisational model and operating and management methods were developed at the start of the second phase’s construction, sums up Länsimetro Oy’s CEO, Ville Saksi.

The project comprised the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section’s 7 kilometres of rail section, 5 metro stations, an underground depot and the construction of park & ride facilities at Kivenlahti, Kaitaa and Finnoo. The Kivenlahti park & ride facility was recently completed and will be opened to the public at the start of April. The full and final costs of the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section will only be known once all the work included in the project plan is completed.

Länsimetro Oy is the owner of the modern metro infrastructure

Länsimetro Oy has now shifted the focus of its operations from the construction project to duties related to metro infrastructure ownership. Länsimetro Oy’s mission is to take care of the metro infrastructure throughout its life cycle to ensure that it functions well and safely long into the future.

The Helsinki region’s metro line is the backbone of west-east public transport. Länsimetro owns nearly 50% of the Helsinki region’s metro line kilometres: the 21-kilometre rail line section from Ruoholahti in Helsinki to Kivenlahti in Espoo, 13 metro stations, an underground metro depot and all the related technical systems. Länsimetro also owns the infrastructure that serves feeder traffic, for instance, the park & ride facilities and bus terminals. Länsimetro Oy is a limited liability company jointly owned by the cities of Espoo and Helsinki.

The busiest stations on weekdays on Länsimetro’s section in 2022 were Matinkylä (20,700 users/day), Lauttasaari (16,400 users/day) and Tapiola (14,200 users/day) (Source in Finnish https://kaupunkiliikenne.fi/liikennointi/metrolla/metroasemien-kayttajamaarat/ ). In 2022, the metro had 70 million commuters.

Further information

  • Ville Saksi, CEO of Länsimetro Oy, tel. +358 (0) 40 823 2086
  • Matias Johansson, CFO of Länsimetro Oy, tel. +358 (0) 40 590 0313
  • Marianne Partanen, Communications Manager, Länsimetro Oy, tel. +358 (0) 43 825 9607

Länsimetro’s Matinkylä–Kivenlahti project is completed

Länsimetro’s MatinkyläKivenlahti project was completed in line with the set targets. The project’s efficient practices and close co-operation, as well as the project organisation’s solid expertise and experience made it possible to adhere to the schedule. Commuter traffic along the section will begin on 3 December 2022.

The project was completed in line with the targets set in the project plan and its adjustment. Implementation of the project was mainly the responsibility of the integrated client organisation consisting of experts from Länsimetro and the construction consultant Sweco PM. Close co-operation and efficient practices enabled the completion of Finland’s largest infrastructure, HVAC and electricity and automation project on schedule.

“We used the experiences and lessons learned from the first construction phase of the West Metro project in the second construction phase. Based on them, we made changes to e.g. management and the project’s organisation model. We monitored the schedule, costs, risks, quality issues, co-operation and occupational safety based on the situation management model,” sums up Länsimetro’s CEO Ville Saksi. ”Our shared targets were also refined and collaboration was tightened regardless of organisational boundaries (Experts from Länsimetro and the construction consultant Sweco worked in shared facilities based on the big room model. Risks were identified and prevented through effective risk management measures.”

Luck was also involved in the construction of the West Metro extension as the key phases of the construction project, such as procurement, took place before the Covid-19 pandemic and the accelerating inflation caused by the war in Ukraine.

“All of the project’s major procurements were made before the dramatic rise in costs. If we had to start building the West Metro now, the price tag for the project would be significantly larger. The pandemic did not have any major impact on the project either, because construction had proceeded far enough when it hit. The project organisation’s operations were well-established and we were a tight-knit team when the pandemic struck,” says Ville Saksi.

Jaakko Naamanka, Project Director at Sweco PM, is happy with the end result of the project. “The project was completed to the day planned in the schedule set i. That is an incredible achievement in a megaproject like this. For that, we have to thank Länsimetro’s joint project organisation that was responsible for the implementation of the project as a whole and all the parties that contributed to the project,” says Project Director Naamanka.

This was the first time that the situation management model was used in managing a public construction project of this size. “The project’s successful management was based on situation management, in which the project’s decision-making is based on situational information that is as real-time and accurate as possible. Based on situational information, the project management can identify deviations from the set targets as early as possible and apply corrective measures. A prerequisite for successful situation management is high-quality scheduling and target-setting, and accurate situational information,” says Naamanka.

The construction of the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section was decided in 2014 and the multi-year construction project began with excavation in late 2014. The construction projects ended in May 2022, after which the test runs continued until September. Länsimetro Oy has handed over the management of the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section’s stations, rail line and depot to the traffic operator Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd. After the completion of construction, Länsimetro Oy will remain the owner, maintainer and developer of the rail line, stations and metro system west of Ruoholahti.

Commuter traffic on the first phase, i.e. the Ruoholahti–Matinkylä section, began in November 2017. Commuter traffic on the new Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section will begin on 3 December 2022.Further information:
Ville Saksi, CEO of Länsimetro Oy, tel. +358 (0) 40 823 2086, ville.saksi@lansimetro.fi

West Metro project, Project Director, Jaakko Naamanka, Sweco Oy, tel. +358 (0) 400 421 143, jaakko.naamanka@sweco.fi

New section of metro line from Matinkylä to Kivenlahti to open on 3 December

The metro will start operating to Kivenlahti in Espoo on Saturday 3 December. The new section of line is seven kilometers long, with five new stations: Finnoo, Kaitaa, Soukka, Espoonlahti and Kivenlahti.

Once the new stations are operational, there will be 30 metro stations in total. The metro network in Helsinki and Espoo is now 43 kilometers long.

The metro was extended from Ruoholahti to Matinkylä with eight new stations in 2017, when the first phase of the West Metro was completed. Since then, the works have continued to the west of Matinkylä.

– The timelines and costs of the construction of the metro extension were kept in line with the decisions of the Espoo City Council, says Olli Isotalo, the Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment, the Chairman of the Board of Länsimetro.

– Even though the metro starts operating, construction continues around the stations. In the existing areas of Kaitaa, Soukka, Espoonlahti and Kivenlahti development will be concentrated around the stations and services will improve. A completely new residential area will be created in Finnoo, continues Isotalo.

– The metro is now complete. The work of decades is coming to an end, although work to develop the metro will continue. The metro is the most popular mode of public transport: 93 percent of our customers gives the metro a good or very good rating. The environmentally friendly metro has a revolutionary impact on people’s mobility in its area, and it is also very important for the vitality of the capital region and Finland as a whole, says HSL Executive Director Mika Nykänen.

There will be no changes to feeder bus services when the new section of line opens. The metro will run in parallel with the current services for a few months. New bus routes aligned with the new section of metro line will be introduced in early 2023. The final date will be announced later.

The new metro timetables as well as bus routes and timetables will be available on the HSL Journey Planner well before the changes take effect.

The city grows with the metro line

Even though the metro runs underground in Espoo, its impacts are also felt above the ground.

The metro extension brings with it plenty of new opportunities, such as new services, apartments and jobs, thus increasing the vitality of the city. With the metro, a completely new neighborhood, Finnoo, is being created and the attractiveness of existing developments increases. The metro zone in Espoo has a growth potential of 70,000 new residents and potential for a 100 percent increase in the number of jobs by 2050.

–  The metro supports the city’s network-like structure of five city centers and sustainable urban development. Compact centers are built next to and on top of the metro line, with areas dominated by detached houses around them, explains the Mayor of Espoo, Jukka Mäkelä.

— The growth corridor of the West Metro is also crucial for the competitiveness of Espoo and Finland as a whole, and significantly promotes cooperation between companies, universities and cities, continues Mäkelä.

Western Espoo along the new section of the metro line has the biggest growth potential for public transport in the HSL area.

Frequent service and safe journeys

The metro is operated by the Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd, which is also responsible for property maintenance and system supervision on the entire metro line.

– Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd and our 150 metro drivers are ready for the extension of metro services. We have prepared for the launch of services through various preparatory works. In addition to driver training and test runs, we have worked to ensure the operability of the section of line and that all technical control systems function properly when the services start. The metro is one of the most important parts of our operations. Its safety and reliability are a matter of honor to us, says the acting CEO of the Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd Antti Nousiainen.

Stations display architectural prowess

The Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section of the West Metro was completed in September. The construction project met all the the objectives set for it, such as objectives related to scheduling, costs, risks, quality, cooperation and occupational safety. After construction, Länsimetro Oy will be the owner of the tracks, stations and the metro system from Ruoholahti westwards, as well as responsible for their maintenance and development.

– The West Metro stations are architecturally attractive, Finnish architectural expertise at its best, and the unique stations serve as business cards for the areas. We eagerly look forward to welcoming passengers to the new metro stations and to enjoy the benefits of this fast mode of public transport safely, says the CEO of Länsimetro Oy Ville Saksi

The City of Espoo website: www.espoo.fi
Helsinki Region Transport website: www.hsl.fi
Metropliran Area Transport Ltd website: www.kaupunkiliikenne.fi
Länsimetro Oy website: www.lansimetro.fi


More information:

Espoo, Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment Olli Isotalo, +358 50 593 3359, olli.isotalo@espoo.fi

HSL, Executive Director Mika Nykänen, tel. +358 9 4766 4040

Länsimetro Oy, CEO Ville Saksi, tel +358 40 823 2086

Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd, Head of Unit Antti Nousiainen, tel. +358 40 579 6074

The construction contracts for West Metro’s stations and rail line have been completed

The remaining work has been scheduled so that Länsimetro Oy can hand over the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section to Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd in the autumn of 2022. At the same time, Finland’s largest infrastructure, HVAC and electricity and automation project will end. HSL will decide on the start of passenger traffic.

Construction and testing of the West Metro’s Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section has progressed to the stage where the five metro stations (Finnoo, Kaitaa, Soukka, Kivenlahti and Espoonlahti) and the rail line construction contracts ended on Friday, 13 May 2022. The Sammalvuori metro depot construction contract ended already in 2020. In April, the final testing of the systems ensuring passenger safety was carried out, and in May, the final approvals were obtained from authorities.

During the entire project, around 30,000 people were inducted in the various contracts, a total of around 2,100 person-years. The number of people working at the worksites was at its largest in November 2019, at 1,174 people. There were 905 companies involved in the various contracts.

The construction contract for the Finnoo metro station was carried out by a consortium formed by GRK Infra Oy and Aki Hyrkkönen Oy, while YIT Suomi Oy and Are Oy were responsible for the Kaitaa metro station, a consortium formed by YIT Suomi Oy and Are Oy for the Soukka metro station, and SRV Rakennus Oy and Kivenlahden Skanska Infra Oy for the Espoonlahti metro station. The rail line contract was implemented by GRK Infra Oy. The depot’s excavation and construction contract was implemented by the Sammalvuori consortium (Kalliorakennus-Yhtiöt Oy, EM Pekkinen Oy, Terrawise Oy and Aro-Systems Oy).

Alteration work on the overhaul track and night-time train depot underway to the west of Matinkylä station

“We are building one of the world’s safest metro systems. The remaining work will be scheduled so that we can hand over the section to the traffic operator Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd in the early autumn of 2022. At the same time, Finland’s largest infrastructure, HVAC and electricity and automation project will end,” says Ville Saksi, CEO of Länsimetro Oy.

On 9 May 2022, the restoration of the overhaul track and night-time train depot to the west of the current western terminal station Matinkylä began. When metro traffic continues from Matinkylä to Kivenlahti, the space in question will no longer be used as a service and storage area for metro trains, and the area will be available to metro traffic. The work will continue until 20 July 2022. Following the restoration work, Länsimetro Oy will hand over the final management of the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section’s metro stations, rail line and depot to the traffic operator Metropolitan Area Transport Ltd in the autumn.

In addition, Länsimetro Oy is commissioning a park and ride facility at Kivenlahti, which will be completed in early 2023. Construction of the park and ride facility began in November 2021.

For commuters, the new rail section will provide a direct metro line to Kivenlahti. The new metro stations are Finnoo, Kaitaa, Soukka, Espoonlahti and Kivenlahti. The length of the rail section available to passengers is seven kilometres. In addition, Sammalvuori has an underground metro depot. HSL will decide on the start of passenger traffic on the Matinkylä–Kivenlahti section.

Further information
Ville Saksi, CEO of Länsimetro Oy
Marianne Partanen, Communications Manager, Länsimetro Oy

Artwork for the West Metro extension completed – metro service will start in 2023

The artwork at the new West Metro stations has been completed. Each of the five stations features a piece of art that matches the architecture of the station. The aim is to make the stations more attractive, inviting and recognisable. 

Right now, testing of the different systems in various emergency situations is underway at the Matinkylä-Kivenlahti section’s stations and metro line. The metro service is expected to start between Matinkylä and Kivenlahti during 2023.

The works of art, which represent different forms of art, must also mesh with the station’s architecture and be easy to maintain. The art makes the stations more inviting and attractive, but its purpose is also linked to the entire station’s design – it improves navigation by helping passengers tell each station apart.

“Tens of thousands of people use the metro each day. More and more travellers arrive in Espoo by metro. The metro station is our calling card and it improves people’s daily lives. Art plays a big role in making the stations more attractive and inviting,” says Susanna Tommila, Cultural Director for the City of Espoo.

The works of art were realised collaboratively by the artists, architects and station contractors as part of the stations’ construction project. Integrated into the station’s architecture and structures, the art replaces some of the station’s other structures such as sections of the platform wall. The total cost of the artwork is estimated at some EUR 1.2. million.

“Participating in the art project has been a great experience. It has been a long process from selecting the artists to the completion of the works of art. Collaboration with the stations’ architects has been excellent,” says the project’s art coordinator Jaakko Niemelä. 

The creations are mostly located on the station platforms where they are also visible from the trains.

“It was important to us to add different forms of art to the West Metro’s phase two stations and we were looking for new types of innovations from each artist. At the same time, the creations are an interesting representation of each artist’s body of work. I’m delighted that art has been given such a significant role in the West Metro’s Matinkylä-Kivenlahti section,” says Pilvi Kahlama, Executive Director of EMMA.

More information about artworks and artists.

Each of the five stations features a piece of art that matches the architecture of the station. Watch the videos. 

More information
Satu Linkola, Communications Director, Länsimetro Oy, tsatu.linkola(at)lansimetro.fi

Testing of West Metro commuter safety systems begins at Kaitaa

The testing of more than 50 different technical systems in case of emergencies, such as power outages and fires, has begun at the Kaitaa metro station. The metro service is expected to start up between Matinkylä and Kivenlahti during 2023. Approved station-specific simultaneous test runs and testing of all of the systems is necessary before passenger traffic can begin.

The various technical systems, many of which are located on several floors at the ends of the metro platform and in the metro tunnel’s facilities, are a part of modern metro infrastructure that is invisible to passengers. The systems are largely related to passenger safety in emergencies. While every single device and component has been subjected to point testing and the systems have undergone test runs, only the simultaneous operation of all of the systems in different emergencies is proof that the station is ready for the metro service to start up.

The first emergency test will be carried out at the Kaitaa metro station halfway through October. First up is the testing of the systems’ operation during a short and long loss of power supply. In connection with the power outage test, also the systems’ operation during flooding will be tested. Towards the end of October, fire testing will take place at different points in the metro tunnel and station. All-in-all, the station testing will take around 4–5 weeks.

Kaitaan metroaseman sisäänkäynnit ovat Kaitaantien sisäänkäynti ja Iivisniemenkallion sisäänkäynti. Iivisniemenkallion sisäänkäynti otetaan matkustajien käyttöön vasta myöhemmin.
The first emergency test will be carried out at the Kaitaa metro station halfway through October. The station testing will take around 4–5 weeks.

Blackout tests ensure the operation of critical equipment

Power outage tests ensure that the station’s electrical systems operate in different types of power outages of varying lengths. The power supply to equipment that is critical for the operation of the station is ensured through automated feed exchanges and double feeds, a standby generator or UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) devices. If the power supply is lost, the functioning of these devices is tested using blackout tests, simulating faults in the transformers supplying the station and checking the feed exchanges’, standby generator’s and UPS devices’ correct operation, and testing the operation of related devices during a power outage.

Systems start up automatically in a fire test

In a metro tunnel fire testing situation, a fire alarm detects an increase in heat in the tunnel, after which the systems operate automatically. The station’s and connecting tunnels’ over-pressurising systems are activated, the evacuation announcements start and the lighting, locking, info screen, elevator and escalator controls operate automatically as required by the emergency.

The first step in the fire tests is to ensure that the station is in its normal operating mode, i.e. all of the devices have been set to their normal metro service mode. The fire alarm will be activated from a predetermined mode, using a fire alarm or call point. The fire alarm is relayed to the automated systems, the metro control room and, in an actual situation, to the emergency services. Based on the location of the fire, the automated systems turn on automatically-activating smoke compartments and escape route over-pressurisations, turn off the ventilation, control the station’s lighting, open the locking of escape routes, close fire doors in public spaces, turn on the correct evacuation announcements (depending on the fire’s location) with which metro passengers are directed out along a safe route, relay the evacuation messages to the passenger info screens, control the camera surveillance system, turn on the elevators’ evacuation drive mode and stop the downward escalators.

Testing proceeding station by station

The joint testing of the systems will take place one station at a time. The testing involves not only the metro station, but also the operation of the systems on the rail area adjacent to the station.

“The operation of the systems is monitored during testing both onsite and in HKL’s control room in Herttoniemi, Helsinki. Different scenarios focus on testing different systems. If a specific area is not functioning as planned, the test will be repeated until the systems operate exactly as they were designed to do,” explains Commissioning Engineer Janne Ilkanheimo from the West Metro project.

In addition to the five new metro stations (Finnoo, Kaitaa, Soukka, Espoonlahti and Kivenlahti), also the operation of the Sammalvuori depot will be tested. The interface between the Matinkylä metro station and the new section was successfully tested in August.

The testing phase will be followed by approvals from authorities, the preparations for starting up the service made by HKL (Helsinki City Transport), which operates the trains, and the preparatory measures by HSL (Helsinki Region Transport) on the part of feeder traffic, for example. The metro service is expected to start up between Matinkylä and Kivenlahti during 2023.

Further information:

Janne Ilkanheimo, Commissioning Engineer, West Metro project, janne.ilkanheimo(at)lansimetro.fi

Communication enquiries, Satu Linkola, Communications Director, Länsimetro Oy, satu.linkola(at)lansimetro.fi

Public spaces are allowed to impress and awaken experiences – a new video series unveils the stories behind the West Metro’s eight stations from an artistic and architectural perspective

On Wednesday, 18 November 2020, it will be three years since the start of commuter traffic on the West Metro’s Ruoholahti–Matinkylä section and the inauguration of the eight new stations. In addition to the modern technological systems that guarantee functionality and safety, from the very beginning, the architectural planning of the new stations took into account different user groups, the location of the station and lighting. Each of the eight stations has its own unique identity, where the underground facilities engage in dialogue with the aboveground station environment and its characteristic features.

Länsimetro and Espoo’s City Events have collaboratively produced an eight-part video series, DESIGN.TUNNE.METRO., which will transport the viewer on an inspiring metro journey from Lauttasaari to Matinkylä. The journalist Riku Rantala explains in the videos how Otaniemi’s culturally significant linden alley was accounted for in the planning, how Lauttasaari’s dismantled iconic water tower is part of the metro station and why Tapiola station is a brilliant white.

The metro is an everyday mode of transport for its users and the video series encourages them to focus their gaze on the aesthetics of this backdrop to their daily lives and the small, carefully designed details. The West Metro’s stations are cultural destinations open to all city residents.

Watch the DESIGN.TUNNE.METRO. videos with your guide Riku Rantala. (videos only in Finnish)

City Events Espoo: www.espoo.fi/kaupunkitapahtumat
Presentation of metro stations: www.lansimetro.fi/en/stations/

West entrance at Matinkylä metro station to open to passengers on 1 October

The Matinkylä metro station’s west entrance will be opened to passengers on 1 October. The entrance’s address is Suomenlahdentie 9. A hotel that connects to the entrance will also be completed by the end of the year. In front of the hotel, on Tynnyritie, a new parking area for 32 bicycles will also serve metro commuters.

The Matinkylä metro station’s west entrance will be opened to passengers on 1 October. The entrance’s address is Suomenlahdentie 9.  Photo: M. Wirman.

The new entrance will connect Suomenlahdentie and Tynnyritie with the metro platform’s west end. It will provide an alternative route from the metro to the bus stops on Suomenlahdentie and buses heading in the direction of Finnoo. Matinkylä is the most-used metro station of all West Metro stations, calculated by number of commuters in 2019, and the second entrance will balance out the number of commuters on the existing route to the bus terminal and Iso Omena shopping centre. Like the West Metro’s other entrances, the new entrance on the west side is wheelchair accessible.

The new entrance will connect Suomenlahdentie with Tynnyritie at the metro platform’s west end. Photo: M. Wirman.

Architecturally, the new entrance complements the existing architecture and appearance of the Matinkylä station. The colour scheme for the new entrance differs from that of the east entrance, helping commuters tell the entrances apart. Starting from the bottom of the escalators, the backlit glass on the east-side escalators changes from yellow to green and then blue. The wall of the new west entrance is adorned with different colours of the spectrum, from red and orange to violet.

Architecturally, the new entrance complements the existing architecture and appearance of the Matinkylä station. The wall of the new west entrance is from red and orange to violet. Photo: M. Wirman.

The entrance can now be opened, since other construction in the area has moved forward. Other services being built on the so-called Tynnyripuisto block are a new indoor swimming pool and a seniors’ residence. The area will also include new residential housing as well as the ‘Life and Living’ senior centre in Matinkylä, along Suomenlahdentie. All in all, an estimated 70,000 residents will live in the metro’s catchment area in the coming decades. Correspondingly, the south entrance to Tapiola station was opened to passengers in the spring of 2019 as construction there progressed.

Länsimetro Oy’s task is to build, own, maintain and develop the West Metro system, tracks and stations from Ruoholahti westwards. In the operating section of the West Metro, Länsimetro Oy is responsible for the functioning and safety of the infrastructure and systems, and oversees that the required maintenance and repairs are taken care of as planned. HKL is responsible for repairs and maintenance as well as for the metro traffic.

“As a responsible owner, we wish to continuously develop and improve the commuter experience. We are making sure that our part is technically modern, based on digital control and maintenance, and world-class in term of safety”, says Länsimetro Oy’s CEO, Ville Saksi.          

Construction of the second phase from Matinkylä to Kivenlahti is ongoing and progressing on schedule and within budget. Work is also taking place around the architecture and look of the second phase stations.

“We want to build appealing stations that are iconic landmarks in their area. Each new station will feature a work of art that will reinforce the station’s identity”, says Saksi.

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