Captive Motion

Malmi train station redevelopment

The Malmi train station serves the biggest suburb of Helsinki and the first airport of Finland. Selective renovation of access points might improve the image of the station, but lacks the sense of identity that Malmi train station deserves. We propose to use Cembrit’s lightweight quality and durability as a responsive and energy generating canopy over the train platforms. The canopy will connect all the access points to the train station, provide protection from the natural elements, and create an identity for the train station and the city of Malmi.

Cembrit panels are thin, lightweight, durable, and sustainable. Intended as an ideal cladding and roofing material, it has an impressive amount of variability in creating shelter. Respecting its nature as a thin sheet material, we begin by imagining its most basic configuration as a surface of panels. Lightweight and opaque, it can easily form an enclosure. Questioning the need for enclosure, we imagine designing a porous surface by rotate the panels in place. The panels, rather than static, could rotate in response to winds generated by the passing trains rotate the panels, creating patterns of transparency and opacity that roll across the surface of the canopy like ocean waves.

The canopy brings together all the modes of access, responding to pedestrian, vehicular, bicycle, and public transport as unique conditions within the same form. From the bus stop, the canopy appears as an extension of the sidewalk, the hardscape transforming into an undulating and wind-driven pattern, the train leaving behind a trace of spinning louvers long after it has left the station. From the car, the arms of the canopy float overhead, giving the station a presence from the nearby roads and the city center. Those arriving by train are protected by the canopy and experience the ever-changing beams of light moving through the space the moment they enter the station. The bicyclist ascends the steps to the bridge where, along with the pedestrian entering from the mall and the plaza, experience the canopy up close in the bridge that follows the curvature of the roof.


  • Location: Malmi, Finland
  • Date: January, 2012
  • Collaboration with Tom Tang and Yijie Dang


  • Winner, Bullhorn Audience Award 2012, Cembrit, Helsinki, 2012
  • Honorable Mention,Bullhorn-Cembrit Design Competition, Malmi, Finland