Tapiola Park, Espoo
Innovative design connects people, products and services
Tapiola – a vibrant and environmentally-friendly retail, business and cultural centre near Helsinki – began modernising in 2009 to increase accessibility and accommodate population growth. By 2025 it will be a unique, multi-level, versatile pedestrian centre at the heart of a garden city.
It will include housing, leisure amenities, shops and offices, as well as a metro station (20,000 commuters daily) and a bus terminal (up to 100 buses per hour). When complete, an estimated 15 million people will pass through the centre annually.
The Tapiola Park parking facility is the largest and most modern underground car park in Finland. It opened on 21 March 2016, offering 1,680 parking spaces on four levels, and its 83,470 m2 of total floor area is equal in size to Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium.
Tapiola park was the runner up in the 2017 Category 1 EPA Award for New Parking Structures.
The car park has been carefully designed to combine operational issues with comfort, safety and convenience. The atmosphere is unparalleled, characterised by clear lighting and deep, ultramarine blue walls for a Chiaroscuro effect, complemented by elevator lobbies made of genuine teak and backlit glass.
The car park is also extremely easy to use, with 31 elevators and 4 escalators, 41 spaces for blue badge holders, and 18 payment machines. It is environmentally sound, with 2 recycling points and a jet thrust ventilation system that provides high air quality combined with low energy consumption to ensure pleasant temperatures on even the coldest of days.
Of course, with so many people travelling through the centre each day, safety was paramount in the car park’s construction. Built-in safety features include audio, fire alarm, and emergency lighting systems, as well as closed-circuit cameras, fire doors and smoke barrier curtains, and even an air raid shelter for over 4,000 people.
It also incorporates a variety of convenience services including a Find Your Car feature available at every payment machine, a Park + Ride area with price discounts, and the ability to pre-book parking spaces.
One of the car park’s standout qualities is its seamless support for the retail and commercial aspects of the centre. A unique Pick-up Point and Service Desk area provides a variety of services to connect visitors with the multitude of options the centre has to offer.
The Pick-up Point – the first of its kind in Finland – offers refrigeration and shelf space for goods supported by state-of-the-art software, allowing people to order online and pick up their order, or even leave their shopping with the service while they continue to use the centre.
The Service Desk guides customers to shops, services and restaurants, offers loyalty cards, provides information about public transportation and the shopping centre, and even incorporates a lost and found.
The Tapiola Park car park is a great example of a truly innovative underground parking facility that serves both visitors as well as the retail and business community.
Its convenient and stress-free environment, combined with a sustainable and user-friendly approach, will be seamlessly connecting people, products and services in the years to come.