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37


BUILDING PROJECTS


ISTANBUL AIRPORT TURKEY


Arriving in style


Istanbul Airport’s terminal is the biggest ever built, but its design manages to still place all passengers’ experience at the forefront, while honouring Turkish architecture. James Parker reports


O


pened this April, the new terminal building at Istanbul Airport is the largest yet constructed in the


world, and is the result of a multi-faceted collaboration. This included concept architects Grimshaw, Haptic and Nordic Office of Architecture, with interior design concept and design development by Scott Brownrigg.


The new airport moves all traffic from Ataturk airport to the Black Sea coast to provide a major international hub, providing for stopovers on long-haul flights as well as ‘point to point’ flights. Initially having two runways, the airport is due to expand to six in subsequent phases, and currently serves 90 million passengers per year, which will rise to 150 million. The terminal building is notable not only for its size, but for the way it provides striking architectural forms informed by its cultural context, which also help passengers by breaking up the monumental scale, and its speed of construction. Due to the modular approach used, the project took only 42 months to build, despite having a gross floor area of 1.44 million m2


, and having 371 aircraft


parking spots, 143 boarding bridges and a total cost of €10.2bn.


Forming the team


The consortium consisting of local companies Cengiz, Kolin, Limak, MNG and Kalyon required a swift timeframe for the Arup-masterplanned project, owner of Haptic, Tomas Stokke told ADF. The investment consortium won the bid to develop the project in May 2013. Andrew Thomas of Grimshaw explains


ADF OCTOBER 2019


how Nordic’s previous experience with the client stood them in good stead for being appointed to design this scheme: “It so happened that the project’s technical director and CEO of the client group had had a very positive previous experience with Nordic.” Tomas adds: “They did a peer review on an airport, including some very frank commentary.” At the same time, Haptic and Grimshaw were seeking a “relevant” project they could collaborate on, “where we would literally reinforce each other,” says Tomas. He adds that the two firms thought that “it might be an airport project of a certain size where a three-way collaboration might be good,” so when Nordic was initially approached by the client, they joined forces with Haptic (who share a familial link as Stokke’s father Gudmund is principal partner at Nordic), and Grimshaw.


Andrew says that the principles of how the three-way relationship would function were “agreed very quickly,” and it would be a “blended team, with complete parity of creative responsibility.” Everyone involved would have an equal share in the design, and there wouldn’t be any lines drawn between the teams. With Nordic and Haptic both having London bases near Grimshaw’s Clerkenwell office, as well as in Oslo, facilitating design collaboration in each firm’s base wasn’t a problem. Andrew says: “We just worked in a very joined up way,” adding that during the intense, roughly four-month design period, some of the bases “became centres of gravity for particular parts of the project, and that made sense in terms of using our resources effectively.”


RECORD BREAKER


The new terminal building (bottom right) serves five piers and has a gross floor area of 1.44 million m2 © Scott Brownrigg


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