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Proposals Shared for Poland-Based Airport

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

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In developing plans for a new Poland-based airport, slated to be known as “Centralny Port Komunikacyjny” or the “Solidarity Transport Hub,” airport planners have solicited nine architecture firms to attend architectural design workshops in Warsaw, Poland.

The idea behind the invitation is that the CPK/STH team will be exposed to inspiring concepts and encourages a better understanding of current trends in airport construction.

"We have invited a number of prominent architects, armed with a wealth of knowledge, professional experience and creativity, to come and work with us and we're glad we did," said Dariusz Sawicki, Managing Director involved with airport planning for the CPK/STH.

"The firms' bold concepts have somewhat clashed with the investors' expectations, and it's turned out to be deeply inspiring—in some cases, it's opened our eyes to unusual design solutions we hadn't previously considered."

However, according to Mikolaj Wild, Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure, the design will ultimately be decided by an international competition between architectural firms.

Proposals Received

In a design proposed by Foster+Partners, the London-based architecture firm has suggested that the airport be built as two connected terminal buildings, with one being built at a later stage of the project’s expansion. Featuring a semi-transparent terminal structure, filled with various trees and greenery, the firm suggests a modular design that can be phased over time in order to properly adapt to air travel requirements. The firm also notes that the terminal would incorporate wooden finishes, as to reference traditional Polish architecture.

Chapman Taylor (London), on the other hand, envisions a terminal enclosed by a giant transparent dome, located in between two runways. Six stories high, the design allows for the lowest level to be taken up by railway platforms, while other floors will be styled after the six distinct landscapes to Poland: the Baltic Coast, Mazury lakes, lowlands, highlands, valleys and mountains. Chapman Taylor plans to focus heavily on sustainability and energy efficiency as well, proposing ground heat pumps for climate control and the use of biofuels, rainwater collection and electric service vehicles.

Proposing three designs, all of Zaha Hadid Architects’ (London) concepts include large transparent elements for lighting and vegetation using sustainable systems capable of supporting plants in the Polish climate. One of the firm’s proposals feature a railway line directly below the airport, theoretically allowing air travel passengers to observe arriving and departing trains.

Grimshaw’s (London) concept is more inclined to the idea of a “hub,” incorporating the style of a traditional Polish market square within a transparent exterior. The hub aims to reduce transfer time and decrease walking distance for passengers looking to reach their desired terminal.

Newark-on-Trent, United Kingdom-based firm Benoy presented a more holistic approach, as the new airport is expected to occupy an area larger than Manhattan. In placing some railway and roadways underground, the idea is to create a central multi-modal transfer node instead. Reports add that Benoy’s proposal is the only firm to suggest a north-south runway, instead of a common east-west arrangement.

KFP (New York) is another firm proposing multiple terminals, however in this case, both terminals are shaped in a triangular manor, with the second one ideally envisioned for expansion. The interior of the design is slated to feature a transparent canopy and irregular-shaped orange skylights to mimic traditional Polish amber. The proposal also includes trees and plants as a “stress-relieving” element.

Global architecture firm Woods Bagot's concept involves creating a more flexible and modern design, able to adapt to new technologies, as well as be unique in practical ways to facilitate traveling. Cliff Bollmann, Woods Bagot Regional Transport Solutions Director, said in regard to the proposal, “The airport of the future should therefore be a temporary escape from stress and everyday problems. It should not only be a place to wait for a plane, but also a relaxation zone.”

In a final design proposal received thus far, Populous (Kansa City, Missouri) has suggested an “Airport City.” The design puts train stations on the bottom floors, airport facilities on the highest levels, while middle floors are designed to feature outdoor areas and resemble traditional Polish market areas. The design aims to give passengers the option to explore attractions and relax verses going straight to security checks or baggage claims.

All concept proposals received thus far are planned to be used as inspiration in creating the master plan for the project and further design works

What’s Next

According to reports, an architect for the project is expected to be chosen sometime in 2020, with construction taking place approximately 25 miles southwest of Warsaw.

A scheduled opening of the Polish airport is intended for 2027. The airport is expected to handle 45 million annual passengers, with the potential to serve up to 100 million passengers and will integrate air, rail, and road travel as well.


Tagged categories: Airports; Architects; Architecture; Asia Pacific; Building design; Color + Design; Color + Design; Commercial / Architectural; Commerial/Architectural; Design; Design - Commercial; Design build; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; Nontoxic Design; North America; Zaha Hadid; Z-Continents

Comment from Martin Rose, (10/2/2019, 8:40 AM)

'conferences' and 'competitions' are a coverup for getting architects to give way free design services. We fell for it years ago and now it is just SOP. Can you imagine lawyers doing anything like this?

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