We’ve seen our share of dazzling mega-airports, each with more eco-friendly elements than the last, but Foster + Partners‘ recently unveiled designs for a new international airport in Mexico City really take the cake. Recently announced as the winner of an international design competition, this mega-airport scheme was designed as a collaboration between Foster + Partners, Fernando Romero Enterprise, and the Netherlands Airport Consultants. At 137 acres, Mexico City’s new airport is designed to be one of the largest and most sustainable airports in the world.
Designed to meet LEED Platinum standards, the airport will use a unique and lightweight pre-fabricated system engineered for rapid construction with minimal waste. Despite its massive footprint, the airport will feature a single compact terminal wrapped within a continuous translucent glass and steel gridshell that will filter in copious amounts of natural light. Walkability is also emphasized in the design and the structure will be easily navigable, with short walking distances and few level changes.
The architects tucked service systems beneath the airport so that ducts and pipes would not mar the appearance of the soaring vaulted roof. To reduce dependence on fossil fuels, the airport will maximize natural daylight and be equipped with solar arrays and rainwater collection. Displacement ventilation principles will be adopted in the design so that little to no additional heating or cooling will be required.
“Stansted Airport’s reinvention of the conventional terminal in the 1990s was emulated worldwide – this breaks with that model for the first time. It pioneers a new concept for a large-span, single airport enclosure, which will achieve new levels of efficiency and flexibility – and it will be beautiful,” says Lord Foster. “The experience for passengers will be unique. Its design provides the most flexible enclosure possible to accommodate internal change and an increase in capacity. Mexico has really seized the initiative in investing in its national airport, understanding its social and economic importance and planning for the future. There will be nothing else like it in the world.”
Images via Foster + Partners