Zaha Hadid Architects has won an open international contest to design a major new transit hub in Tallinn, Estonia.
The famous London design firm was awarded the €28,000 first prize and will now work alongside local firm Esplan to design the rail terminal for Rail Baltica Estonia. The station will be the starting point for Rail Baltica, Europe's new electrified, high-speed railway line. Spanning 870km (540 miles), it will connect Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with the high-speed train network in Europe, making the eastern part of the continent more accessible than ever.
The competition sought sustainable and pedestrian-friendly design concepts for the transformation of an existing station in the city's Ülemiste area. Once complete, the space-age transit station will include a hub for national, international and local rail services, along with buses, trams and coaches next to the city's airport. A curved pedestrian bridge will link everything together.
Construction will take place in phases, so as not to disrupt ongoing operations in the existing station. According to the architects, sustainability is at the forefront of the project as Ülemiste has been designed and planned to BREEAM environmental benchmarks and sustainability guidelines.
The practice, founded by the late Iraqi-British architect, Zaha Hadid, is famous for designing iconic buildings like Beijing's Daxing International Airport, Glasgow's Riverside Museum and the Guangzhou Opera House. In 2017, the firm was awarded the Port of Tallinn Masterplan 2030 - a major redevelopment of the city's Old Harbour, which will incorporate civic and community spaces with green areas and urban spaces.