West metro stations combine safety and accessibility with striking architectural features

Metro stations traditionally are structurally simple because they have only one function: to serve as the departure and arrival points of safe journeys. When designing west metro, ensuring safety and accessibility has not meant disregarding quality and elegance.

West metro stations are vast, open-plan spaces where people’s sightlines of other metro users are maximised. In densely populated countries, passengers go in different directions through separate routes,
but in Finland, all metro users fit in the same platforms and use the same elevators and escalators.

– Open-plan spaces give a sense of security. The feeling of safety from being among other passengers is created with good lighting and unobstructed sightlines, says lead designer, architect Hannu Mikola at architect office CJN Oy.

The open spaces and fixtures are only some of the ways of ensuring safety at metro stations and during metro journeys. A much larger role is played by what we do not see, which is the technology and automation
behind the structures and systems of every station and tunnel.

Passengers having to exit a tunnel on foot is very rare in Finland. Never in the history of travelling by metro in Finland has there been a fire on board the metro or at a metro station. West metro has a wide range of
automation systems and mechanical engineering solutions for ensuring that everyone can exit safely in exceptional situations.

– To my knowledge, west metro has the most comprehensive safety solution that a metro system can have, says Mikola.

Originally published in West Metro magazine 1/2019. 

Hannu Mikola at Matinkylä metro station. Photo: Kimmo Häkkinen