Stunning Kebony-clad cruise terminal welcomes visitors to the Port of Tallinn

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Located in the hustle and bustle of the biggest port authority in Estonia, the Port of Tallinn has opened the most modern and multifunctional terminal in the region. Beautifully designed to reduce its negative impact on the environment, the sustainable cruise terminal can operate outside of cruise season, making the capital more accessible whilst reducing its environmental footprint. A striking feature of the terminal – designed by Salto Architects – is the remarkable use of Kebony, a global leader in the production of sustainable wood, which was selected for the expansive decking and to clad the building’s imaginative exterior.

The vast scale of the project allows for the terminal to be used to host events, such as concerts and conferences, accommodating up to 2,000 people. The generous size also means that, even during the peak cruise season, some level of social distancing will be possible if required due to Covid-19.

The new facility is also distinguished by a 850-metre-long promenade, designed to connect the port’s ten million plus passengers each year to the new leisure areas. Featuring tiered outdoor seating, visitors can enjoy the scenic ocean views at the highest point of the terminal.

Based in Norway, Kebony is a global leader in producing sustainable wood materials, which made it the perfect solution for this innovative project. It created an elegant exterior which complements both the structural design and the oceanic surroundings. Kebony wood develops a unique silver-grey patina over time and will also complement the silver tones of the surrounding sea, whilst requiring little to no maintenance.

Kebony’s revolutionary technology is an environmentally friendly process which modifies sustainably sourced softwoods with heat, enabling them to permanently take on the attributes of tropical hardwood, including high durability, hardness, and dimensional stability. This unique process also provides Kebony with its characteristic appearance.

Nina Landbø, International Sales Manager added: “We are delighted that Kebony was chosen for the exterior cladding and decking of this flagship cruise terminal in Estonia, and hope it can be used to inspire the development of many more sustainable projects for the cruise-ship industry worldwide.”

Following the COP26 climate summit which saw 100 world leaders promise to end and reverse deforestation by 2030, Salto Architects’ decision to make extensive use of sustainably-sourced Kebony wood for the cruise terminal reflects the global shift to favour sustainable materials in construction, which will soon become an imperative for architects, homebuilders and real estate developers to rapidly curb the impacts of climate change, including the destruction of trees which depletes forests that absorb vast amounts of CO2.

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