The Travel Centre is located at the heart of the Lahti city, where the different types of public transport come together. The area near the railroad where the Travel Centre is located was the subject of an architecture competition in 2012. Based on the results, the area will be developed into a new residential and office area.
The Travel Centre connects the rail network to the long-distance and local bus lines. A bridge deck will be built above Vesijärvenkatu, next to the railway station. That's where the new terminal canopy for intercity busses will be located. The old bus station will no longer be used and the bus station and surrounding areas will be re-zoned as a new city district, Ranta-Kartano.
The railway station in Lahti is a historically significant building. The new terminal canopy will be partially in front of the station building, and therefore it is subject to very strict requirements regarding its effect on the cityscape. The design of the terminal canopy initiates a dialogue between the new and old elements. The simplistic sculpture-like form of the canopy embraces the history of the area. The rectangular pillars are parallel to the arrival platforms and vertically tilted.
In addition to the terminal canopy, the Travel Centre includes new elevator towers, support structures, bus stop shelters and the cladding and lighting of the new underdeck space. Carefully designed and placed, these elements guide the users to move on the various floors of the new Travel Centre. Despite complex environment, these elements the elements form clear structure that is easy to navigate despite being placed in a complex environment. The structure also fulfils the additional accessibility requirements for the Travel Centre.
In terms of the cityscape, the Travel Centre provides high quality and a cohesive visual impression. The main materials are copper, glass and aluminium. The uniform surface materials bind the area together. The canopy and pillars are clad in perforated copper. The elevator tower next to the terminal canopy uses glass in both the outer walls and load-bearing structures. At the heart of the elevator tower there is the elevator shaft, covered in copper and copper wire mesh. It is an elegant counterpart to the powerful silhouette of the canopy. The two other elevator towers are located in the northern part of the area. Together with the copper-clad support walls and bridge railing they create a portal when the viewer faces southwards. The elevator towers connect the lower level street Vesijärventie to the northern bus stop shelters on Mannerheiminkatu. The space under the bridge deck has been clad with wavy aluminium profiles. The cladding hides integrated noise reduction, general lighting and high-quality atmospheric lighting. The tunnel-like space is visually refined and acoustically pleasing. The parts between the main structures - support walls, bridge railings, outdoor benches and walls - are all copper-clad as well.
Special attention was paid to lighting while designing the Travel Centre. The electricity and HVAC equipment is hidden inside the structures. Light sources have been placed behind perforated copper parts in various elements and will enhance the character of the copper parts during the darker seasons.