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Zaha Hadid Architects Designs Futuristic Ülemiste Terminal

Zaha Hadid Architects leads the design of Ülemiste Passenger Terminal in Tallinn.

Zaha Hadid Architects Ülemiste Terminal, Render by Nightnurse, Courtesy of © ZHA

Tallinn, Estonia, is set to welcome a transformative addition to its infrastructure with the Rail Baltica Ülemiste Passenger Terminal. Scheduled to open in 2028, this multi-modal transport hub promises to revolutionize the city’s connectivity, serving commuters, international rail passengers, and air travelers from the adjacent Tallinn Airport. The terminal will act as a crucial link, bridging districts of Tallinn that have long been separated by railway tracks.

Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects in collaboration with leading Estonian firm Esplan, the Ülemiste Passenger Terminal is the northern terminus of the new 870-kilometre Rail Baltica electrified railway. This ambitious project, currently under construction, aims to provide passenger services at speeds of up to 249km/h, effectively integrating Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania with Poland’s European high-speed rail network.

Zaha Hadid Architects Ülemiste Terminal, Render by Nightnurse, Courtesy of © ZHA

The terminal’s design is guided by its circulation routes, facilitating seamless navigation and integration with Tallinn’s bus, tram, rail, and cycle networks. A modular structural system, built in phases, ensures that rail operations continue uninterrupted throughout the construction period. Adhering to BREEAM benchmarks and guidelines, the terminal emphasizes sustainability and efficiency.

Estonia’s Climate Minister, Kristen Michal, highlighted the terminal’s significance, stating, “We have been dreaming of a fast connection to Europe. This is a landmark year in the construction of Rail Baltica – in addition to laying the cornerstone of the Ülemiste terminal, the construction of the main line has also begun. Building a high-quality connection will provide a much-needed new opportunity for Estonia’s people and its economy.”

Zaha Hadid Architects Ülemiste Terminal
Zaha Hadid Architects Ülemiste Terminal, Render by Nightnurse, Courtesy of © ZHA

Magda Kopczynska, Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility, reinforced the project’s importance, noting, “Rail Baltica is a European, Baltic, and Estonian project. The Baltic States must be connected to the European rail network to ensure the security of supply chains, comfortable travel, economic development, and, last but not least, our common European security. The European Commission has been and will remain a strong supporter of Rail Baltica.”

Anvar Salomets, Chairman of the Rail Baltic Estonia management board, expressed his enthusiasm: “Until just a few years ago, we could not have believed that we could have celebrated the laying of the cornerstone for Ülemiste Terminal. The implementation of the Rail Baltica project in Estonia has been both effective and efficient, and in four years’ time, we invite everyone to the opening of Rail Baltica Ülemiste terminal.”

The Rail Baltica Ülemiste Passenger Terminal stands as a beacon of progress, poised to enhance Estonia’s connectivity and foster economic growth while strengthening ties with the broader European rail network.

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